[Calvary Chapel] 2005-08-25 - Learning to Punch

1 Cor 13:11-13 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NASB)

I have studied martial arts for many years now. Tonight was a great night because one of my favorite instructors was on the floor, and we were learning something new. It is still fun to learn new things. There were parts of this drill that were the same in other drills, so they were familiar. There were a few moves that had a completely new twist to them. While they had an hint of familiarity, they were not the same. Because of that, we all had to resist the impulse to move quickly through and be patient while learning something new. The instructor cautioned us, and reminded more than a few people to slow down and take our time. He reminded us all that when we first started learning karate, that we all needed to learn everything down to the simplest thing. We all had to learn how to punch correctly. A lesson that applies to far more than martial arts.

If you are a new Christian, don't become frustrated as you realize the enormous body of knowledge that you have just wandered into by accepting Christ as your Savior. Know that Jesus loves you - YOU! Patience. The knowledge will come. Ask your questions, and learn the basics. They are your foundation on which you will build. Learn to punch.

Older Christians, be patient with the young ones that want to ask every question in the book. Remember that you were once the one asking the questions. Again, patience. Don't quash the enthusiasm that peppers you with another "why this?" or "what about that?". Just like my lesson tonight, learning new things is still fun. Explaining something to someone who is willing to learn has a tremendous reward when you see the recognition in their faces. You know how to punch. Share the knowledge with a mixture of enthusiasm and humility.

Even as a Black Belt, the basics can not be taken for granted. My muscles know many of the moves through years of repetition. But little mistakes can creep in if I am not periodically reviewing in a mirror or with a senior instructor. Small corrections periodically, prevent passing on flaws to others. My instructor still has people who he considers his instructors. In the church, Deacons and Elders still have a Pastor. Pastors still have people they consider their teachers. If you don't believe me, ask them. Just as they are still learning, we still need to be learning - growing in the grace and mercy and love of our Lord and Savior.`

Never stop learning and refining the basics. Never stop learning to punch.

Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com