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.
March – April 2005
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
The Apostle Paul
“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
“Teaching Wisdom To Our Children”
Sensei Mark McGee, GMAF Director
(This article is the fifth of six in a year-long study about teaching children and young people about wisdom and character development through Christian Martial Arts programs. GraceLife Ministries and Grace Martial Arts Fellowship present this series in the hope it will help you in your life and Martial Arts ministry.)
• Love Your Soul
First, we need to love our soul. That’s what we saw in the first study about wisdom. “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” (Proverbs 19:8.) We know getting wisdom demonstrates we love our soul. Soul-love is love at a deep level. Jesus answered a question about the greatest commandment by saying, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) The greatest love is love God with all our heart, soul and mind. The next greatest love is to love our neighbors as we love ourself. A person who loves God with all their heart, soul and mind is wise. A person who loves their neighbors as themselves is wise. “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul.”
• Learn to Fear God
The first step in becoming wise and teaching wisdom to others is to fear God.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:5-7
Wisdom is the “principal” thing in life and it begins by having a reverential fear of God. Having a healthy fear of the Almighty God is a good thing. It prepares our hearts and minds to receive knowledge and with knowledge comes understanding. To teach wisdom to others we must first fear God. It’s like the fear a child has for their father. They love their father and their father loves them. The child wants to please their father in every way. They do not want to displease him. When they disobey their father, they see the displeasure and disappointment in his eyes. They don’t want to see that. They don’t want to receive his discipline. Wise children obey their parents because they love and fear them.
• Learn Wisdom and Live for God
We need to be students before we become teachers. Our second step in Teaching Wisdom to Our Children is to be wise and act wisely before teaching others about wisdom. Every Christian should be a student of wisdom, but those who teach others about living wisely should be well- versed in wisdom and continue to study wisdom throughout their lives. Good martial arts instructors have the respect of their students. Martial arts teachers have traveled the martial road ahead of their students and bring knowledge, experience and wisdom to their classes.
• Lead Students On The Path of Wisdom
The third step to Teaching Wisdom To Our Children is to lead them along the path of wisdom. Martial artists speak often about following the path or way (Dao or Do). The ancient pursuit of martial arts was to learn the way and walk in it. Martial Arts was a “way” of life. It is the same today. Students search out teachers who can show them the way to live as a martial artist. The Christian martial arts instructor has the opportunity to teach students about Christ as the True Way even as they demonstrate the proper way to block, punch, kick and escape from holds.
• Lead Students to Choose Relationships Wisely
The fourth step to Teaching Wisdom To Our Children is to lead them to make wise choices when it comes to relationships in life. Babies are born
into the world with almost no ability to care for themselves. Doctors and nurses and other types of caregivers help in the first days of a child’s life, but the primary responsibility for a baby’s health and wellbeing falls to the parents. In a child’s early years parents will look to family members, friends, neighbors, teachers and others for assistance in giving their children direction and protection. Parents soon learn about the many “mine fields” facing them as they attempt to raise healthy, well-adjusted children.
The purpose of this study is to help parents, Christian martial arts teachers and other adults guide children through those mine fields and find God’s purpose and blessing for their lives.
The best way to look at anything in life is through God’s eyes. What God believes is best for a child should be our main concern and He has a lot to say about children.
Jesus Christ, God in Flesh, showed through His words and actions what he thought about children. We gain a tremendous insight into how God sees children through these verses.
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. Matthew 18:2-5
Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:13-14)
The NIV reads: “Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Verse15 is also worth mentioning because we see how Jesus expressed Himself to the children. “When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” Jesus touched them with His heart full of love and interest in their lives. Adults then and now often treat children with a lack of respect. Pure and proper touching shows children how an adult cares for them. Jesus created children and loved them deeply. They are precious in His sight. Children are wonderful examples of the spiritual relationship believers have with Christ. God loves and protects children. His Word is full of insight into that love and protection. In our study, we will see what God says about four important relationships in every child’s life: parents, teachers, friends and sexual relationships.
And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. Mark 9:36-37
We begin this month with a look at the first two relationships in a child’s life: parents and teachers. In our next newsletter we’ll look at the impact of friends and sexual relationships on our children.
• Wisdom About Parents
The most important and vital relationship any child will ever have is with parents. The parent-child relationship should be protected and nurtured by everyone in a community. The success or failure of that bond affects us all. God loves children and gave them as a special gift to parents.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Psalms 127:3-4
God told Israel how important the home and family are to children and impressed the responsibility parents have to do what is right for their children.
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Deuteronomy 11:18-23
Children need to learn how important they are to God and how precious they are to their parents. Parents and children don’t always know how to say what’s in their hearts to each other, so a gentle nudge from God’s Spirit is often helpful in developing the deeper relationships possible within families.
God speaks clearly to children about the importance of loving and obeying their parents. It should be in reponse to parents who are loving and obeying God. If both are true in a family relationship, God will be praised and glorified in every city. The truth of relationships is that parents are not always as loving as they should be and children are not always as loving as they should be, but that is not an excuse for disobeying God’s direction to each. The Bible says, “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3) A parent should love their children whether the love is returned or not. The same is true for the child who has an unloving parent. This life is not perfect and many Christians find themselves in difficult circumstances within the walls of their own homes, but God’s Word is true and what He tells us to do in relation to members of our family is true. Obey God and let Him work the miracles.
Solomon, the world’s wisest person, had much to say about the importance and benefits of children obeying their parents and their parents raising them in the knowledge and understanding of God. Notice both the commands and the life benefits promised.
My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. Proverbs 1:8-9
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. Proverbs 2:1-2
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Proverbs 3:1-2
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Proverbs 4:1-13
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Proverbs 4:20-22
My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. Proverbs 5:1-2
My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. Proverbs 7:1-3
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” Proverbs 10:1
A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.” Proverbs 13:1
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Proverbs 13:24
A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” Proverbs 15:5
A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother. Proverbs 15:20
A foolish son is the calamity of his father… Proverbs 19:13
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Proverbs 19:18
He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach. Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. Proverbs 19:26-27
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. Proverbs 20:11
Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness. Proverbs 20:20
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14
My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.” Proverbs 23:15
Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”Proverbs 23:22-26
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. Proverbs 24:13-14
My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.”Proverbs 27:11
Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer. Proverbs 28:24
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. Proverbs 29:17
There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. Proverbs 30:11-14
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. Proverbs 30:17
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Colossians 3:20-21
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity … Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 1 Timothy 3:4,12
But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. 1 Timothy 5:4
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. Titus 1:6
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:4-5
God gives fathers, mothers and children shared responsibility in success of the parent-child relationship. Parents and children have a big job and need the support of family and friends to be the best they can be for the glory of God.
• Wisdom About Teachers
We have many teachers in life. We have teachers at school, in church, in music, in sports, at work, in martial arts. We are constantly learning. Teachers have a tremendous influence in the lives of children. Most teachers teach because they love and care about children, but parents should be involved in knowing their children’s teachers and what drives them to teach.
Unfortunately, some teachers are involved in the lives of children for the wrong reasons. We should be aware and careful for our children’s sake.
Parents choose most of a young child’s teachers, but children will eventually make some of their own choices. Plus, they need to know the difference between good and poor teachers in order to help their parents know what’s happening in the classroom. We look to God’s Word for guidance on how to choose the best teachers for our children and how to guide them to make those choices as they grow up.
The first Teacher of the human race was God. He taught Adam how to care for the Garden of Eden. He taught Eve how to be a wife to Adam and a mother to their children. God taught Cain and Abel how to be good to their parents and to each other and how to farm the land and care for animals. He taught the boys how to love and worship Him in ways that would please God. He taught Cain about the dangers and consequences of sin.
God taught every “great” person of the Bible what to do, how to live and what to say. One of the best examples from the Old Testament is the man God chose to “instruct” Israel about His Law. These are excellent insights into how God teaches His teachers to teach. Look at this through God’s eyes. Watch how He taught Moses to teach the nation of Israel. What does He want parents to learn about choosing the right teachers for their children? What does God want children to understand about choosing good teachers? What does He want Christian martial arts instructors to learn from these examples about being the kind of teacher God wants us to be?
• God told Moses to “teach” His people. Moses didn’t think he could do it, so God told him how it would work.
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” (Exodus 4:12) Moses did as God said and taught the people of Israel the commandments of God. “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. (Deuteronomy 4:5)
God used Moses to prepare them to enter into the “promised land.” Israel had spent ten generations in slavery. The people didn’t know how to do anything for themselves. They were used to being told what to do and being provided for by the Egyptians. They had a lot to learn about taking care of themselves. God told Moses to “teach” and “show” His children what to believe and do. Another way to say that in more modern terms is “Show and Tell.” That’s the simplest, clearest way of teaching. What did Moses “tell” and what did he “show?” “And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.” (Exodus 18:20) The lessons were clear: teach them the truth and show them how to live and what to do. That’s the sign of good teaching. Does a teacher know his or her material? Are they just reading from a book or do they “know” the truth? Is it part of the fabric of their lives? Can they explain it clearly so their students get it? Do they know how to help children understand how to use the information in their lives (the way to walk and the work they must do)? If they don’t, it might be wise to look for another teacher. Teachers have a powerful influence on children. It’s not an experience we can waste.
Look at what Moses told Israel about what God taught him to teach them. This is one of the most powerful lessons ever given any class in all of history. We can learn so much from this because it’s God’s message presented in a way that pleased God. Notice also how Moses reminds Israel that God expects them to take His Word seriously in every home and for parents to teach the truths diligently to their children. Parents were to talk the Word and walk the Word day and night in every aspect of family life.
Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken. Deuteronomy 6:1-19
Moses spent the rest of his life teaching the children of Israel. God buried Moses personally in a grave that only He knew. God loved Moses and left these words to remind us of the great legacy this “teacher of Israel” left for his people and for the world.
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel. Deuteronomy 34:10-12
• God gives us an interesting example of a master craftsman and teacher in the Book of Exodus. His name was Bezaleel and he was from the Tribe of Judah. We can learn much about choosing the right teachers for our children and being the right teachers for them.
And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work. Exodus 35:30-35
Look at what makes up a “master teacher.”
1) Filled with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge (mastering a rich relationship with God and an understanding of how God sees life)
2) All manner of workmanship, devise curious works, work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make ay manner of cnning work (mastering his craft whether it be working in metals, wood or martial arts)
3) Teaches from the heart and with the wisdom God gives them (has a deep desire to teach and masters himself to bring praise to God and the riches of God’s Word to the people he teaches)
4) Filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work (does his best in everything he does)
We can learn much from these examples of master teachers. (Interesting side note that Aholiab was from the tribe of Dan.)
• The Bible gives us many examples of good teachers. We can learn so much by studying these men and women and what made them teachers God used to bless His people.
Joshua was the man God chose to lead Israel after Moses. God taught Joshua what he must know and do in order to teach and lead God’s people. The same is true for anyone who teaches God’s people today.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people. Joshua 1:7-10
Samuel was a great teacher of the people of Israel at a most difficult time in its history.
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 1 Samuel 12:23-24
David was a great teacher of God’s people. He was also a powerful martial artist (warrior king) and great instructor of his army. He looked to God to be his Teacher and Strength so he could teach others.
He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Psalms 18:34
Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Psalms 144:1-2
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the
day … Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way … What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 12
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Psalms 34:11
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”Psalms 51:12-13
Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. Psalms 86:11
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. Psalms 119:99
What was it that King David wanted God to teach him? The Law. David wanted to know God’s Law in detail so he could understand it, obey it and teach it.
Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes … Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes … Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments … Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes … I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation … Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments … Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes … Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.”Psalms 119:12, 26, 33, 64, 66, 68, 99, 108, 124, 135
Ezra was a priest and scribe and God used him to return the hearts of God’s people to the Lord.
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments … And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. Ezra 7:10, 25
We can mention so many other great teachers in the Bible including Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah and all the other prophets of God. We can name Peter, Paul, James and the other apostles of God. However, no name in the Bible comes close to the Greatest Teacher of all time: Jesus Christ the Lord! He taught everywhere He went. He taught in every situation of life. He was truely the Master Teacher. We can learn so much about teaching people by observing and following His teaching process.
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” Matthew 4:23
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35
And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. Matthew 11:1
And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. Mark 4:1
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? … And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching … And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:2, 6, 34
Jesus Christ called on all His disciples to become teachers of the Gospel of God’s Grace. It is our duty, our responsibility, our privilege, our joy.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus also taught His disciples to depend on God’s Spirit to teach them what to say as they taught others. May we learn that wonderful lesson and look to the Spirit for His Wisdom.
For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. Luke 12:12
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26
• God also points out the dangers to His people of bad teachers. These are people who will try to lead children away from the truth through their bad instruction. Christian parents should be careful of these types of teachers. Here are some examples of those kinds of teachers.
Beware of teachers of other belief systems. Their words may sound good, but death lies in their sounds.
But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 20:17-18
Beware of anyone who claims to speak for God but leads people away from God’s Truth. Their purpose is not to make things better for people. It is to make thing better for themselves. False teachers are greedy people who want to profit from the misery of others. Be careful not to think or say that no one can lead children of Christian parents away from God’s Truths. Jesus told His disciples that false Christs and false teachers would arise and show signs and wonders to seduce even the elect. The consequences for following false teachers are serious and lasting. We must help our children identify false teachers and bad teachers and help them know how to resist them and their teachings. They must learn how to “try the spirits” to see if they are of God.
For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts. Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Isaiah 9:13-16
Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches. Isaiah 43:27-28
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many … For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:11, 24
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Mark 13:22
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 1 Timothy 1:5-7
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 1 Timothy 6:3-5
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. Titus 1:10-16
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. Revelation 2:18-23
Teachers have tremendous influence over the minds of children and young people. Let us join together in prayer and purpose to stand against those who would do bodily, mental, emotional and spiritual harm to these precious gifts from God.
(Next month: “Teaching Wisdom To Our Children: Influences continued)
Martial Arts as a Therapeutic Recreation And Rehabilitative Process
KARL WILLIAM MARX SR. Founder of Keichu-Do Martial Arts
Central State Hospital Children’s Unit was opened in the summer of 1966 and was for some time the only public facility for disturbed children in the state of Georgia. As could be anticipated, the two main problems encountered in the management of patients in the children’s unit arose from the sexual impulse and aggressive one: Eros and Thonos, or, if you prefer, Libido and Destrudo, or Freud’s Life and death Instincts. The present paper is concerned with the aggressive drives in emotionally disturbed children, whatever the diagnostic category, as far as their age was under 12 and their I.Q. was 70 or over; these two factors being the only requirements for a child to be admitted to the children’s unit. The Aggressive Drive, in the peer relationship, may have been abnormal by either being excessive or defective; both deviations are frequently found in disturbed children.
Thus, our goal may be seen as a generalized one of helping the ill or disturbed person deal more effectively with personal problems of health or leisure. On the other hand, Martial Arts recreation may be seen as a specific modality used to achieve certain direct aims of rehabilitation. For example, I believe an excellent statement of purpose that was developed by the
Veteran’s Administration which applies to many chronic disease or psychiatric hospital settings, and which we can use for Martial Arts Recreation.
Martial Arts Therapeutic Recreation Purpose:
1.To facilitate the patients adjustment to hospital life and to make them more receptive to treatment.
2. To facilitate the patients early Physical, Mental, (I put in the Spiritual), And social rehabilitation, recovery and discharge.
3. To assist in minimizing the risk of unnecessary readmission. 4. To improve their morale and sustain it at a high level.
5. To encourage the formation of habits and attitudes which will permit their confident participation in normal activities.
6. To compensate for their disabilities and limitations while inspiring them to fulfill their potentialities.
7. To channel their aggressive drives into appropriate outlets. (I contend that punching a boxing heavy bag, is more conductive than punching someone in the head),
8. To encourage their desire to remove or overcome the physical or mental barriers that stand between them and a normal life.
9. To stimulate new or dormant interests and talents, as well as to re- establish old ones.
I give credit to C.C. Bream Jr. “Rehabilitative Recreation in V.A. Hospitals”. Recreation, May,1964, p.224-225, for the above information.
Other Examples of Program Goals:
When dealing with specific areas of illness or physical or mental disability, (which I define as disharmony with the God’s Will.) The goals of the Martial Art therapeutic recreation service may vary considerably. For example, program activities for psychiatric patients situations, that help them gain self-confidence and improved self-concepts and promote socialization. Martial Arts programs for the aged persons may also aid to improve their alertness and awareness of the environment and themselves, as well as others. Using such special techniques as sensory training or remotevation, as well as strengthen his or her morale by providing positive and enjoyable leisure outlets. Learning how to defend themselves. Using Karate, Judo, Jiu- Jitsu, Keichu-Do, and all the others, too many to mention here, styles can bring unprecedented self-control, anger management, and discipline. Not to mention the physical improvement to their cardiovascular system.
(Next month: Part 2)
Karate For Christ
Ok guys, here is a NO BRAINER for us. I realize others will have varying opinions, but we, msut rely only on the authority of Scripture in this matter of Titles. I have been there, loved the titles, but as I grew in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I realized the Title thing was wrong. Read on:
Mt 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
Mt 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. Joh 13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
Also, Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 and in Colossians 4 that our MASTER is in heaven. Paul goes on to say in 2 Timothy 2:21, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
Our Apostle then continues with words of the Lord that EVERY martial arts instructor should take to heart. Here is the secret to success :
1 Tim 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (Youthful lusts for the martial arts instructor would include things such as titles, etc.).
2Ti 2:23, ” But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” (I know these are religious in content, but also included here could be those that have “bought and “cross ranked rankings).
2Ti 2:24-26, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
Amen and Amen. Guys – how are we going to call ourselves, as Christian Martial artists “Servants of the Lord, and carry the title MASTER! How
Dare we take a title given to God?
Students, if your instructor insists on this title, and is a professing Christian, share these verses with him out of love. If they believe the Bible, they may just drop the non sense title. Can we not be MEN or WOMEN about this thing: 1Co 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
There is nothing wrong with an appropriate title: For instance – pastor, deacon, etc. are all used and given of God, as is Teacher.
With Shinsei, even though we are a Korean art, we use the Japanese title “Sensei”, meaning teacher. That’s a good title. After all, you don’t have to be a Master to teach, only willing.
HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE
Ten Things That Will Help You In Your Personal Studies
1. Get a Good Bible
2. Develop a Regular Reading Habit
Bible study is great, but don’t forget to spend some time each day simply reading the Bible. The Christian needs to feel at home in the “Bible environment”. By reading it regularly, you’ll become familiar with it’s vocabulary, it’s characters, special memory verses, it’s precious promises, valuable lessons, and doctrinal truths. The more familiar you become with God’s word the more you’ll enjoy it.
3. Take Your Bible With You
God’s word is your spiritual food and your weapon, so why leave home without it? I personally have a few different Bibles that I use for different purposes. I keep one in my truck for reading, one in our family vehicle for personal work, one for street preaching, one in the bedroom for reading, and the rest in the office. This way I avoid having to carry the same one everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with carrying the same Bible everywhere, but you will wear it out quickly.
4. Pray for Wisdom and Understanding
The Author of the Bible is STILL ALIVE, so He can help you understand it (James 1:5; I John 2:27; I Kings 3:5-12). When is the last time you asked the Lord for understanding?
5. I believe it was John Bunyan who said that the Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.
6. Always Believe What You Read
To question God’s word is satanic (Gen. 3:1), so don’t ever question it. Just believe it by faith. If you can’t understand it, then at least believe it.
7. Make It A Habit to Mark Your Bible
You aren’t growing any younger, so your memory isn’t growing any better. Start marking your Bible by underlining or circling special words and verses. Write important notes and references in the margins. A few years from now you’ll be very glad you did. Just ask anyone who does it.
What should you mark it with? I’ve tried these special pens that aren’t supposed to bleed through the paper, and I personally do not care for them. I use a fine point, black, ball point pen and dry highlight markers. For special notes, I use other color ball points, but they’re all fine point and I never press hard. Never use felt tips or roller balls.
8. Start Your Own Library
Get a good Strong’s Concordance. Make sure it is for the King James Version. It is just richer and better. This will allow you to look up any word in the Bible in all of the places where it is found. If you have a computer, get a good program like SwordSearcher. which has a Strong’s concordance along with a Bible dictionary, an atlas, and several other options. It is also available for a free download trail on line. Here are some ESSENTIAL BOOKS:
– Strong’s concordance
– Clarence Larkin books
– The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
– An Old Scofield Study Bible
– Most of my church members have fallen in love with the NEW PILGRIM STUDY BIBLE. It seems to be VERY helpful.
9. Thank God for Everything You Learn
We really are unworthy to sit at the feet of our Saviour and learn, yet He commands us to do so. We should count it an honor and privilege! When you learn a new truth, no matter how small, always THANK Him! (I Ths. 5:18; Rom. 1:21).
10. Apply What You Learn
A sponge that only soaks up water will become sour! Don’t be a sour Christian. God teaches us the word because He desires to use us in His service. He feeds us that we might be healthy and strong to fight His battles. Don’t be a draft dodger. Apply what you learn as you learn. Get your basic training and then get on the battlefield!
(Reprinted with permission from Karate For Christ International)
WORDS OF WISDOM
I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible. (Moody)
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. (George Washington)
I enter a most earnest plea that in our hurried and rather bustling life of today we do not lose the hold that our forefathers had on the Bible. I wish to see the Bible study as much a matter of course in the secular colleges as in the seminary. No educated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible, and no uneducated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible. (Theodore Roosevelt)
Other books were given for our information. The Bible was given for our transformation. Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.
The New Testament is the greatest Book the world has ever known or ever will know. (Charles Dickens)
The Bible is a Book in comparison with which all others in my eyes are of minor importance; and in all my perplexities and distresses has never failed to give me light and strength. (Robert E. Lee)
Must everything in our age be predigested? Does the Bible have to be reduced to pablum? I refuse to believe that modern man, who split the atom and is exploring space, is unable to cope with the grandeur and glory of the King James Version. (Winston Churchill)
In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine Protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard — and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. . . . And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need its assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow can not fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?…We have also been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it.’ (Psalm 127:1) I firmly believe this, and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. . .” (Benjamin Franklin’s appeal to President Washington for a National Day of Prayer )
It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Patrick Henry)
No sciences are better attested than the religion of the Bible. (Sir Isaac Newton)
The destiny of America is to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all men everywhere. (John Adams)
That Book, Sir, is the Rock on which our republic stands. (Andrew Jackson)
Believe me, Sir, never a night goes by be I ever so tired but I read the word of God before I go to bed. (Gen. Douglas MacArthur)
I have made a covenant with my God that He send me neither visions, dreams, nor even angels. I am well satisfied with the gift of the Holy Scriptures, which give me abundant instruction and all that I need to know both for this life and for the life which is to come. (Martin Luther)
(Reprinted with permission from Karate For Christ International)
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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