Tag Archive: disciples


DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

glasseson-book1Preparing to accompany my dad for a short drive, I watched him turn to the right and then to the left. I saw him go to the kitchen and then back to the den. Then he turned and went down the hallway and returned to the den again. As he stood there, I inquired if he was ready to go. With a puzzled expression on his face he answered, “I was looking for my glasses.” I matter-of-factually replied, “They are on your nose.”

This is an event that is ageless. Everyone has observed or been in a similar situation whether it is sunglasses or readers: looking for the glasses and discover that they are on the head, around the neck or in the hands. Everyone has misplaced something and as they say when you’ve found it, “If it had been a snake it would have bitten you.” It was closer than realized.

Every Sunday morning we go to worship and faithfully assemble in the Sanctuary to seek the face of God and His presence, but during the week, too many of us have misplaced Him and left Him there. It’s as if (in our minds) His place and power is only in that edifice. As we face the battle of life, we think God can’t catch us when we fall unless we’re at the church house, so we come up with our own devices and search for solutions in the world.  Too many of us are satisfied to be victims instead of victors as if ‘victory in Jesus’ is only a praise song we sing on Sunday mornings.

Remember the two walking a seven mile journey back to their home (Luke 24)?  Jesus walked up to them and inquired what it was that they were discussing so intently. Surprised at the question, they told Him all about what had tragically transpired with Christ. Notice that angels did not blow trumpets, nor was there a choir or praise team anywhere around. Jesus merely came along side, and began to explain the truth of the Scriptures and reveal Himself through the words of the prophets. He didn’t wait until they got to the Sanctuary; He walked with them on the road as they made their long journey. Yet, they did not know that it was Him, until He broke the bread at their table. They were very sad, but their sorrow turned to gladness and discouragement turned to hope as He walked, talked, and dined with them. They were perplexed and dismayed, until they realized He had been with them all the time. When they realized who He was, they were so overjoyed that they ran back another seven miles to tell the other disciples that Christ was truly alive and had walked and talked with them. As they reported this, to their surprise, He appeared again to all of them.

Christ is not just in the Sanctuary. He is more than a song we sing or a sermon we hear on a Sunday morning. He is strength and security on a Monday morning. He is encouragement and enlightenment on a Wednesday afternoon. He is rest and refuge on a Friday evening. He is comfort and companion on a long day’s journey. He is truth and triumph, our up close and personal champion.

If Christ is not with you until you get to the Sanctuary, life is a defeated and depressive mystery.  The two travelers were not looking for Him along their journey, because all they knew was that He was crucified and buried after He died; and now the tomb was empty, and they didn’t know where His body was. But suddenly there He was, walking with them, closer than they realized.

Have you misplaced Him in your life? Where are you looking for Christ? Where are you looking for God? Do you get so distracted that you lose sight of Jesus? Do you leave Him at the Sanctuary or in the Sunday-School classroom?

Don’t just place Him as Lord of your Sunday mornings.  If you take time to meditate on His Word and what you’ve been taught, the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth of the Scriptures to you. I’m confident that you’ll find that He is closer than you realize. Placing Him as Lord of everyday means that you don’t have to wait until Sunday morning or when you get to heaven to experience freedom and victory.

“Christ with you” is more than a song on Sunday morning!

 

“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Matthew 28:20

 “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

'DAWN' by D.J. Martin

‘DAWN’ by D.J. Martin

Have you noticed that no matter how darkness crowds out the light of day, dawn still comes in the morning? It looks truly dark these days. While there are mad men all over Africa and the Middle East trying to wipe out the name of Jesus Christ from the lips of the people by murderous slaughter, there are delusional leaders in the free world, thinking the people gullible, declaring war and making treaties on climate change. They are like blind men, in the dark, groping for reading glasses or artificial light.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

Thou, even Thou, art LORD alone; Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and Thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth Thee.” Nehemiah 9:6

We are in a time where the voice of the people overwhelmingly cries out for a return of our nation to righteous God-fearing laws, while the judges hastily declare evil to be right and good to be evil. They do not hear or listen to the voice of God; it’s no wonder that they do not listen to the voice of the people. So the government tries to silence the lips that declare, “The Word of God is true and Jesus is Lord” by passing ungodly laws; declaring that babies should be killed at will and men and women should be allowed to behave even as animals don’t do, and psychologist and counselors are forbidden to try to break the chains that hold perverted minds captive.

Every generation has had challenges that causes the darkness to try to conquer the light. While the children of Abraham were in Egypt, the Pharaoh tried to quench the birth rate of the Israelite by legalizing the late-term abortion of all baby boys. Spiritually speaking, this was the devil’s attempt to squash the promise of God to Abraham. Even so, they still grew in number. Though the time was dark, Moses, the deliverer, was born (Hebrews 11:23). And when he was older, he lead his people from the darkness of oppression and slavery in Egypt to the light of freedom.

King Saul insanely tried to snap out the life of David, because he was jealous and wanted to prevent him from becoming king in his stead. Alas, Saul died at his own hands and David became king anyway (1Samuel 31:4).

Though they captured Samson and blinded his eyes so that he walked in darkness the rest of his imprisoned life and would no longer continuously defeat the Philistines; which was what he was anointed to do. Even so, Samson defeated more Philistines when blind than he ever did when he could see (Judges 16:30).

King Herod tried to prevent the coming of the Messiah by killing baby boys, but Jesus was born and lived anyway. The religious leaders tried to stop the ministry of Jesus Christ. Therefore they tried Him in an illegitimate court and unjustly convicted Him to death on a cross. It was a very dark day; the day He died. Hope faded into darkness for some, on that day. There was no light on the day He died (Mark 15:3334). Then to prevent any resemblance of His resurrection (for He said He would rise), they placed guards around His tomb, rolled a huge rock to cover the tomb where His body laid and then they sealed the tomb. But, He arose anyway! It was at dawn, in the early light of the morning (Matthew 28:1), that they found the tomb open and the stone rolled away and that Jesus, the Light of the world, was no longer dead. He had risen just as He said He would.

They intimidated the Christians and sent those who uttered the name of Jesus Christ into the darkness; hiding from the Romans for fear they would be crucified also. But there in the upper room, the Light of the Holy Spirit came and the disciples emerged from the darkness and boldly declared the name of Jesus Christ. They were thrown into the darkest of prisons, beaten, beheaded, crucified, ridiculed and exiled; all to silence the lips who called Jesus Christ, “Lord.” Even so, His name continues to be on the lips of people of every tongue and every nation.

I’m thinking that the reason every generation has their days of darkness is because, there is in every generation someone or some government or ruler, who is on the devil’s side (Ephesians 6:12), trying to hide the Light by trying to silence the lips that call the name of Jesus Christ and declare Him Lord. But I’m reminded that the light of the truth of Jesus Christ emerges despite all that darkness tries to do.

John tells us in the book of Revelation that darkness will come with great vengeance and the rulers of darkness, in the last generation, will again ferociously try to silence the lips of those that call the name of Jesus Christ. They will beat, oppress and kill their bodies. They will pass laws to oppress and silence them and chase them into darkness, hiding for fear of persecution and death. But, dawn will come and there will be a removal of darkness and the light of the Son will rule and vanquish the rulers of darkness into a pit (Revelation 21:23). The dead in Christ will rise and the Light of the world will visibly rule forever more.

Jesus put it this way, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man [the Light] coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:29-30).”

How fascinating that God put in place a demonstration of the victorious truth of this spiritual warfare. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).” No matter how dark the night on this pilgrimage, the dawn’s light of day effortlessly comes and consumes the darkness.

Truly, this generation, is witness to darkness, but praise be to God, just as surely as the dawn comes after the darkness of night, we know that the Light ‘cometh’ and conquers the darkness of this world.

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1

  That’s Today’s’ Single Focus…

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

MirrorGirl

People are always saying that I look like my Aunt and they’re always telling my niece that she looks like me when I was here age. We’re frequently commenting that my nephew looks like his daddy when he was his age. One day my nephew mistook a photo of his granddaddy for his dad.

No doubt someone is always remarking that you are the image of your dad or your mother. At one time or another, we’ve all probably been mistaken for someone else by a stranger.

I ran into a woman at the entrance of a bookstore and mistook her for someone I hadn’t seen in months. She looked so much like her, but when I looked a little closer, it became obvious that I didn’t know her at all. On another occasion, I walked up to an older lady in a grocery store and expressed how happy I was to see her. I proceeded to try to remind her where we had met. She worked with a missionary that ran Summer Bible School where my parents had sent us every year. She was instrumental in my acceptance of Christ as my Savior. Before I could continue to tell her that, the lady smiled and said, “You have mistaken me for my sister, I’m her twin.” She was the mirror and truly spitting image of her sister, who had led a room full of kids to Christ.

According to Genesis 1:27 God (Elohim) created Adam and Eve in His own image; “…in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them…God created man, in the likeness of God made He him (Genesis 5:1).” Obviously, according to the scriptures, God told us once and told us twice that Adam was the spitting image of God. Then it goes on to say that Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and Eve bore him “a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth (Genesis 5:3).” So, conclusively, Adam looked like God and Seth looked like Adam.

Then Immanuel (God with us), Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23), walked this earth and lived among His creation. He gathered to Himself disciples and chose 12 Apostles to whom He gave power to preach, cast out evil spirits and heal the sick. He proceeded to give them instructions on what to carry and how to behave. Then He said unto them “He that receives you receives Me, and he that receives Me receives Him that sent Me (Matthew 10:40 ).”

Just before Christ was to present Himself as the sacrifice for our sin, He washed the feet of them and said, “If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you (John 13:13, 14, 15). A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you… By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another (John 13:34,35).”

Christ (Immanuel) taught and walked the image of God. He said to Phillip in John 14:9 “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” In other words Christ was the spitting image of God. Not only that, but Christ, all that time with His disciples, was teaching them, and empowering them so that they might become a spitting image of Himself.

Apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 12: 2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5-8). For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).”

Consider your ways and your walk. How diligently do you study His Word and how much do you believe and practice His Word? Every Sabbath you talk a good talk, but your co-workers, Church members, strangers, children, spouse, family, friends and acquaintances; who do they say you are the spitting image of: the world, the devil or the Christ?

We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:18

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Happy New Year!I believe that this is God’s resolve for us. I’ll let  Him speak in His own Words…

“Why boasts thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God [endures] continually.

Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. You love evil more than good, and lying rather than speaking righteousness. You love all-devouring words, you deceitful tongue!

God shall likewise destroy thee forever, He shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. The righteous also shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, “Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bolder in their wickedness. But I [am] like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. I will praise You forever, O God, for what You have done. I will trust in Your good name in the presence of Your faithful people.”  Psalm 52:1-9

  1. Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
  2. And put perverse lips far from you. Proverbs 4:24Liar

The fear of the LORD is to

A. Hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way; And the perverse mouth I hate.Proverbs 8:13

B. Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, Keeps his soul from troubles.Proverbs 21:23

  1. Do not be quick with your mouth,
  2. Do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so
  3. Let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

“For the leaders of this people cause [them] to err; and [they that are] led of them [are] destroyed.” Isaiah 9:16

“Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets a snare for him.” Jeremiah 9:8

“Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one [is] a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand [is] stretched out still.” Isaiah 9:17

“Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. ” James 3:10

But He answered and said, “It is written,

  1. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4

“Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?

  1. Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. ” James 3:13

“That we [from now on]

  1. Be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Ephesians 4:14
  2. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: Ephesians 4:15
  3. Put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; Ephesians  4:22
  4. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Ephesians  4:23
  5. Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.                        Ephesians 4:24
  6. Wherefore putting away lying,
  7. Speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Ephesians  4:25
  8. Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians  4:27
  9. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: Ephesians  4:31
  10. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. ” Ephesians  4:29

” My mouth shall:

  1. Speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.                  Psalm 145:21
  2. In God we boast all the day long, and praise Thy name for ever. Psalm 44:8
  3. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. Psalm 47:6
  4. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to Him a psalm* of praise. Psalm 47:7
  5. Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, [in] the mountain of His holiness. Psalm 48:1
  6. For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14
  7. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  2 Thessalonians 1:11

“I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be
able to contradict or resist.” Luke 21:15

Indeed we have exited an old year and entered a New Year full of lying tongues from ungodly leadership and their followers to godly leadership and members of their churches. As you see in His word, God is not only concerned with deceitful tongues of leaders, but He is concerned about each person, individually. Christ is concerned about what proceeds out of the mouth of the person. This mighty God is a personal God, concerned about what proceeds out of the mouth of the individual and our personal singular growth. Taking His correction is good for our body and soul. May we resolve to take seriously God’s warning about guarding our tongues. We should pray for discernment, because the wicked is cunning and deceiving. Remember the conversation in the Garden of Eden?  The whole earth was served notice that this is the plan of attack: cunning and deceitful words from the devil.  Because of his cleaver words they were deceived and believed a lie.

May we resolve to be careful who we hang out with and whose words we hear or we may not only believe a lie, but we will become disciples of liars and repeat their lies, even to our children.  Test the words of your acquaintances, your leaders and your lips to see how their words measure up to the word of God. May we resolve to: guard our tongues; to not deceive or slander men; and to not diminish their spirit with our words, but rather use our lips to praise God, speak truth, extend grace and encourage others.

Let our conversation be in love and careful not to grieve the spirit, but speak words of truth, which is His word, glorifying and praising God daily!  May this New Year bring to our lives: evidence of Praises to God; ever-increasing appetite for His word; and lordship of Jesus Christ over our tongues.

As we plant seeds of blessings; grace; righteousness and truth with our mouths, may we reap bountifully the same in return (Luke 6:38).

“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” Psalm 141:3

That’s Todays’ Single Focus