Character is indeed the desired fruit of our labor. Matthew 7:16 tells us, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” (NKJV) We strive to present the Gospel and we believe that real heart changes can only take place when we are born again. I am aware that someone can be “good” and disciplined according to the world’s standard, however, rejecting Christ in our lives is the greatest demonstration of arrogance that we as humans can exhibit. It is like saying, we can be good and do good things without any need for God.

            I often showcase my program as one that goes beyond kicking and punching, that is because seeing changes in our students’ behavior towards their parents, in school and in society in general, will always take precedence over their skills as martial artists. You can be smart, but without character you demonstrate lack of wisdom. Intelligence has to do with your intellectual abilities, but wisdom has to do with a sharp discernment of what is right and what is wrong according to God’s standard. The very beginning of that wisdom is expressed in Proverbs 9:10, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (KJV) It is important that we are not talking about being scared of God, but about having reverence for HIM.

            How do we develop that reverence to God? How do we increase in our love for HIM? How do we grow in the revelation that HE is worthy to be praised and worshiped? The key to our program in the development of character in our students is very simple, we teach the Word of God. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:15-17, “15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (NKJV)

            Speaking in a practical way, we start our classes in prayer, have the teaching portion, take time for a small devotional, and then finish with our creed, “Sir, as we finish this class, I promise to pursue loving God above all things, to love others, to love myself and to use all of our talents for the glory of God and for the service of His people.” At Casiano’s Martial Arts, we recognize that we do not have the power to save anybody, not even ourselves, but we recognize that we can be used by All Mighty God to plant and to water kingdom seeds. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

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