Living Out the Gospel with a Kung-Fu Grip

I was so blessed to be at my friends’ wedding last weekend. And I was especially blessed to make a six hour drive with good friends. One thing that God is showing me is His faithfulness. Especially in the seemingly little things that often go unnoticed. But what has caught my attention is how the martial arts sort of illustrate our need for discipline to live out the Gospel. Put another way, their discipline is the same I need to live as a man of integrity, patience and self-control. Let me pause and state that I don’t know the first thing about martial arts (with the exception of Bruce Lee films-but that of course doesn’t count). But I’ve been told that good martial arts instructors emphasize self-discipline and integrity both in the ring and out of it.

For the last few months, I’ve been reading 1 and 2 Timothy and a little 1 Peter. In these letters, both Paul and Peter mention being examples to the flocks their proteges are leading. As Paul mentions to “fight the good fight” and persevere in living out the Gospel, I am reminded to fix my eyes and Jesus and press on. And I need help in doing this. And that’s why I appreciate Godly counsel from friends in the church. They have confronted me in revealing sinful patterns in my life. And, to be honest, it has hurt. It strikes a deathblow to my pride. But God is using them to point me to the Gospel and to pursue righteousness and true peace in the Gospel. Not to wander aimlessly in pursuing fleeting sinful things, but pursuing true rest, peace and joy in Christ. So that “deathblow” has actually been part of God’s loving hand molding me to pursue Christ. To die to self and to live for Christ.

I Asked The Lord by John Newton


I asked the LORD that I might grow

In faith, and love, and every grace;

Might more of his salvation know,

And seek, more earnestly, his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray,

And he, I trust, has answered prayer!

But it has been in such a way,

As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,

At once he’d answer my request;

And by his love’s constraining pow’r,

Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel

The hidden evils of my heart;

And let the angry pow’rs of hell

Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seemed

Intent to aggravate my woe;

Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,

Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

LORD, why is this, I trembling cried,

Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?

“‘Tis in this way, the LORD replied,

I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,

From self, and pride, to set thee free;

And break thy schemes of earthly joy,

That thou may’st find thy all in me.”

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~ by cvillegas on October 3, 2007.

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