Tag Archive: Jesus


DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Publication2

I found a Business Card on my front door one spring day. It was for a lawn service. When I called the phone number printed on the card, I expected to receive a reasonable quote. The price was indeed reasonable; therefore I commissioned them to groom my lawn. For days prior to the day they promised to service my lawn, I always brought up in conversation with co-workers and family that I had commissioned someone to groom my lawn. I confessed that my lawn would be mowed that week. On the agreed day which they promised to service my lawn, I eagerly anticipated and expected to go home to a manicured lawn. When I arrived, I indeed saw what I expected. I had never met the men, but after talking to one of them, I had expected them to fulfill their word. They did indeed fulfill their word as I expected.

These were mortal men. They had no super capes around their necks or wings on their feet or on their shoulders. Actually, I did not know what they looked like, yet I expected them to service my lawn, because they said they could. When I called them, I did not ask them to paint the house, feed the dog, or repair my car. Their services were limited to what was printed on their Business Card. Furthermore, I left them a payment of gratitude in a secret location prior to the completion of the work, because I expected them to do what I had asked them to do.

We frequently call on human beings with expectation and anticipation.  How is it that we are uncertain and waver in confidence of the outcome when we pray to or call on the true living God? His Business Card, the Holy Bible, boasts of a multitude of skills and abilities. He is not short of His power, strength nor His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20). We don’t know the limitlessness of His ability, unless we read His ‘Business Card’. If we read His ‘Business Card’ we know what He is exceedingly able to do (Ephesians 3:20). So if we know what He is able to do, when we call Him, shouldn’t we expect Him to do what He said He can do?

What do you expect when you pray?

One morning, a neighbor inquired about who takes care of my lawn. They saw how well it was kept and they wanted their contact information. Not only did I give them their telephone number, but I proceeded to tell them of their good attributes. They proceeded to call and hire them on my recommendation and the evidence of my well maintained yard. My neighbor expected to get the same results as I did, and they did indeed receive what they had expected.

Sometimes we pray or call on God because of the testimony of others. We have seen with our own eyes that He did a miraculous work for others. They boasted of Him because they had been healed, given favor, delivered or given peace, and they recommended that we also call on Jesus. I wonder, when we follow through on the recommendation of others, do we expect of the Lord as eagerly as we expect the lawn service of mere human beings?

What do you expect when you pray?

I remember while working a minimum wage job, telling co-workers that I was going to buy a house, though I had no money to purchase the home. My co-workers asked me, “How are you going to get a house?” They knew how much I earned, because they made the same salary. But God had confirmed to me that He was going to give me my own house. I was always reading His ‘Business Card’, so I eagerly expected and anticipated what He promised. I was always bringing it up in conversations, because I believed His promise. I took God at His word. Not only did I get the house, but I have more than one. I received what I expected from God, because I read His ‘Business Card’ (John 15:7).

Now, if we expect mortal men to do what their Business Card indicates they can do, shouldn’t’ we expect with even more anticipation exceedingly greater things when we call on God?

What do you expect when you pray?

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Genesis 18:14

That’s Today’s Single Focus

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Advertisements

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®)

In the Beginning:

woman handsWsnakeAdam said, “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me of the forbidden tree, and I did eat.” Then the LORD God said unto the woman, “What have you done?” And Eve said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” The LORD God said unto the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and every beast of the field; upon your belly you’ll go, and dust you’ll eat all your life:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:12-15

Seed of the Woman:

The angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, fear not to take Mary as your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.”

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Then Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had said, and made Mary his wife: but, knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His name JESUS.  Matthew 1:20-25

Bruising the Heel:

The chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death. When they had bound Him, they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate, the governor. When He was accused by the chief priests and elders, He said nothing.

Pilate went out unto the Jews, and said unto them, “I find in Him no fault at all.” John 18:38.

At this time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore, when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, “Whom do you want me to release unto you; Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ? They said, “Barabbas” Then Pilate asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ? They all said, “Let Him be crucified.” And the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified.” Then Pilate took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person…

They crucified Him, and set up over His head His accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

From the 6th hour there was darkness over all the land unto the 9th hour. And about the 9th hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. That very evening, a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple, went to Pilate, and begged for the body of Jesus. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, hewed out of the rock: and he rolled a great stone over the door of the sepulcher, and left. Matthew 27:1-61

Bruising the Head:

The next day, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember that deceiver, while He was yet alive said, “After 3 days I will rise again.” Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the 3rd day, lest His disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, “He is risen from the dead…” So they went and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting guards. Matthew 27: 62-66

At the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the 1st day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the sepulcher. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. And the angel said unto the women, “Fear not: for I know that you seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come; see the place where the Lord was laid.” And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see Him…” The women departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples the news. As they went to tell His disciples, Jesus met them. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him. Then said Jesus unto them, “Be not afraid: go tell My brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.” The 11 disciples went into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth… lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:1-20

The End?

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:28

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:17-18

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 1Corinthians 15:55

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)
Forever LifeFor ages men and women have searched and researched methods to prolong the youthfulness of human beings. Until they find the real ‘Fountain of Youth’, they hire makeup artist and purchase cosmetic Do-It-Yourself kits that give the illusion of youthfulness. They even have cosmetic surgeons that nip and tuck, lift and lower the skin to create and maintain a youthful appearance forever. But God has a plan that money cannot buy.

Since He is the eternal God who has a forever love toward the people He created, He has the solution. It’s a solution that doesn’t have to be camouflaged and is not phony. It is a formula and a recipe which value is immeasurable; no human being or nation has treasures adequate enough to buy. All the gold in the entire world cannot purchase this balm. The largest vault in the entire world cannot contain it; no not even the oceans can hold it. There have already been advertisements about it, but many don’t believe it, because it’s ‘free’. Many don’t believe that it will work, because it is too simple. But God has an ‘organic’ perfectly safe and perfectly free solution. He has the perfect formula to give mankind eternal life. It’s ‘free’; God has already paid the perfect price, because the cost was too high for even the richest person alive to afford.

God sent His only begotten Son to make the purchase which was at a tremendously great price. His Son did not bring, from heaven, silver, gold or precious stone. His Son gave His life. The formula required the blood of a perfect sacrificial lamb. This lamb was Jesus Christ. Anyone, rich or poor, male or female, young or old can acquire eternal life. All they have to do is believe in the Son and His blood sacrifice. All who believe in Jesus Christ and except Him as Savior can have forever/eternal life. To everyone who receives it and believes it, they can have everlasting life; they can live with the forever God forever.

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. He did not have the blood of a man running through His veins. He was the only begotten Son of the true and living God. He was the perfect sacrifice. Because of God’s great love for mankind, His creation, God gave His Son to make the payment for our sins. Before Christ, life’s end was a certainty, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Because of the Son’s love for the Father, Christ willingly offered up Himself as the blood sacrifice for the atonement of our sins; thus, assuring the opportunity for all mankind to live forever.

Jesus Christ has already put in the time, blood, sweat and tears and death to make the payment required to ensure your life forever. All you have to do is believe in and accept the gift. If you believe that He has paid the price, you can receive forever life for free.

You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to receive eternal life. You don’t have to write more books of the Bible; you don’t have to persuade ten men to join the church; and you don’t have to give more money to the preacher. Nothing you can do, buy or sell will give you forever life. Forever life is ‘free’! Christ, alone, has picked up the tab. All you have to do is accept the gift. It is by the blood of Jesus Christ, alone, that forever life is available.

The great thing about the formula for eternal life is that it has been tested and proven. Jesus volunteered to prove its truth. He let people beat Him, nail Him to a cross and keep Him there until He died. Then they laid Him in a tomb and covered it with a great stone. Early one morning one of the women followers met Him near the tomb where they had laid His body. To her amazement and delight, He was alive and well!

He now sits on the right hand of God, ready to give forever life to anyone who desires it. “No Charge!”

All you have to do is believe, ask Him and receive it. I am a witness; it works! Christ is alive; He has risen just like He said He would and He lives forever more!

“I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelations 1:18

That’s Today’s’ Single Focus…

brazillianChrist2by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Imagine someone who walks and goes with you wherever you go.

Imagine someone who is with you when you’re in a storm

and when you are weeping in front of a burial tomb.

Imagine someone in whom you trust with your money.

Imagine someone who you speak with everyday.

Imagine someone who values your insight and advice.

Imagine someone whom you pray for and with every single day.

Imagine someone who you always invite to go with you to dinner parties.

Imagine someone who is there every time you lead Bible study.

Imagine someone who eagerly does anything you ask them to.

Imagine someone who you love enough to wash their feet.

Imagine someone who sat next to you at your last supper.

Imagine that someone taking 30 pieces of silver to help imprison you.

Imagine that someone going to your favorite praying spot

and betraying you by kissing you on the cheek.

Imagine that someone helping church leaders frame you

and bring you into Federal Court and falsely accuse you.

Imagine that someone hidden in the shadows as he hears you sentenced to death.

Imagine that someone watching you be paraded, bloody, beaten, and bruised

on your way to die on Calvary.

Where is the loyalty? What price for unfaithfulness to a friend? Is 30 pieces of silver a fair price for betrayal of a trust? What is so valuable that betrayal of a friend, spouse or family, whom you profess love, is more profitable than loyalty? Do the disloyal get caught up in momentary pleasure?

What Price Loyalty???

This Judas decided that 30 pieces of silver was indeed not enough to watch his friend die. So he tossed the money away and hung himself (Matthew 27:5). Alas, so much death follows betrayal of a trust.  So much is lost after disloyalty: life, friendship, family, even a nation.

But praise be to God, Christ did not betray His loyalty to God, the Father. Christ never, not once, betrayed His faithfulness to the words the angels said, “Unto you is born… a Savior (Luke 2:11).” Thereby the disloyal and the unfaithful can be redeemed and receive forgiveness (1John 1:9).

Christ did not betray His friends; in that He gave His life for His friends (John 15:13). He died on Calvary for you and me, even before we became His friends.

Wow! That’s loyalty, trust and faithfulness extraordinaire!

Praise be to God, unlike Judas, the betrayer (Matthew 10:4), Christ got up from the grave and is seated on the right hand of the Father making intercession for His friends (Romans 8:34).

But according to 1Thessalonians 4:17 that’s not how the story ends…

“… and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”  Revelations 17:14

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

 

 

 

lion

It is a difficult thing to find a job where everything is like a paradise; everyone agrees that God reigns and Christ is Lord of their lives in every way. Unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to work in an ‘all pleasant’ atmosphere, even when you work for an evangelical church, because the jealousy demon spirit lingers at every corner.  I would venture to say that most faithful children of God have or will encounter this jealousy spirit as a roaring lion at one time or another.

Paul writes that we were chosen before the foundation of the world for a purpose (Ephesians 1:4-5). God knew us before we were born and has chosen us and compassed us with His favor. The glory of the Lord is all over us. We are a light that blinds the wicked. Wickedness determinedly cannot prevail as long as the servants of God are present.   Furthermore, the purpose of God will be fulfilled, if they don’t stop us (Amos 3:4). But I think that the story of Daniel illustrates our victorious position even in the midst of a Lion’s Den.

Compare your family or your co-workers or your government to the Lion’s Den. What do they have in common? They spread rumors and lies about you with their roaring mouths (Psalm 22:13). They encircle you with their plots against you (Psalm 17:12). They lay in wait ready to devour you (1Peter 5:8) as meat as they conspire against you. They watch your every move, like a lion tracking his prey, to report negatively if you even twitch. They aren’t concerned about your God, they are just jealous of your presence, your favor, your position and your focus on God’s ‘Will and Purpose’ for your life. They are your jealous adversaries who, unwittingly, are in league with the devil. So how do you handle the torment? Jesus said, “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come (Luke 17:1)!” “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”

Take Daniel for an example. This is a man who worked most of His life for governments who did not know his God. Yet Daniel was highly favored.  In Daniel Chapter 6, we see the ‘green-eyed monster’, jealousy, take an extreme turn. Daniel was faithful and wise and loyal in his position as a president. The scripture says that an excellent spirit was in him (Daniel 6:3 ) and the king wanted to make him head over the whole realm. That meant that he would be promoted over all the presidents and princes. So like a lion stalking his prey, they spied on Daniel, hoping to find a flaw that they could report to the king. But they couldn’t find anything negative to report. Daniel showed up on time to work, he put in his ‘eight hours’ and fulfilled his duties without hesitation (most likely because he worked as unto the Lord); they had no opportunity to pounce. So they stroked the ego of the king and persuaded him to create a 30 day law. They decided to make Daniel’s love for God a crime. So like a pack of roaring lions they went to the king and charmed him into making it unlawful for anyone to petition their God or gods for 30 days; as Daniel had a habit of praying to the excellent God three times a day (Daniel 6:10). The law was that anyone caught would be thrown to the lions.

Well they knew Daniel would continue to pray, because they had watched his every move for days. Like a pack of lions wetting their lips, they hurried to the king and reminded him of the new law. Though angry at himself and the trickery of his princes and presidents, the king had Daniel put into the Lion’s Den (literally). But, look who encouraged Daniel; the king who did not know his God but had observed Daniel and the excellent spirit (God) with him (Daniel 6:16). This king expected impossible results.

He was anxious all night and hurried to the Lion’s Den early the next morning. There at the top of the Lion’s Den, the king called out Daniel’s name and Daniel answered saying, “My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me (Daniel 6:22).” The king had Daniel promptly removed from the Lion’s Den. Then he gathered all those two-legged lions who had plotted against Daniel and ordered they and their families to be tossed into the Lion’s Den where they were utterly destroyed by the four-legged lions. And then the king said of God, which is the moral of the story of you and the Lion’s Den; “He delivered and rescued, and He worked signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, Who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

Do you feel like you are a Daniel in a Lion’s Den? If you are a “servant of the living God, [your] God, whom you serve continually, is able to deliver you from the lions (Daniel 6:20)” If you are a faithful servant of God, “…God [will] send His angel, and [will] shut the lions’ mouths and they will not hurt you.

The scripture goes on to say that “this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian (Daniel 6:28).” You may be in a Lion’s Den surrounded by roaring lions, but you are filled with an excellent spirit (the spirit of God). Praise God and give Him glory, because He will shut their mouths, deliver you from the lions and their power and then cause you to have favor and prosper the rest of your days.

Thy God whom thou serve continually, He will deliver thee.  Daniel 6:16

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

Related Articles

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

“…Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” LUKE 2:11 (KJV)

LUKE 2:1-20

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar
Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first
made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)Angels Announcing the Birth of Christ to the S...

And all went to be taxed every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she
should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the
shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ISAIAH 9:6

I pray that Christ is indeed born in your heart and is your Lord and Savior.

Celebrate His birth like the Shepherds did: spread the Good News, glorifying and praising God, for Christ the Savior is born!

 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” JOHN 3:16

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

Photo Credit

Angels Announcing the Birth of Christ to the Shepherds (Wikipedia)

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thiefJob 24:14

These are the days of frequent reports of: uncovered terrorist plots; drug cartel killings; nations warring and killing one another; and government methodically stealing citizens’ rights through unjust laws. There isn’t a neighborhood without some kind of security measure: burglar bars, security systems, security/police patrol or security dogs to protect against thieves who strike at any time day or night. We’ve got deadly domestic violence; endemic divorces; billion dollar baby killing (infanticide) industries; and deadly addictions that put young people behind bars or 6 feet deep, destroying parents’ hope of a great future for their children. That’s the national statistics of ‘steal, kill and destroy’, but there is a more up-close and personal battle that is waging. If we win this battle then hopefully the national statistics should change for the better.

“If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”  1 Corinthians 14:8

Jesus described the adversary (the devil) as a liar, thief, killer and destroyer (John 8:44, John 10:10). The fact is that we are in a personal battle; a spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12); and we need to be equipped for the battle.  We also need to know the weapons and battle strategy of our enemy (Ephesians 6:11-17). In order to fight the good fight, we must be able to recognize him when he appears as a “wolf in sheep clothing (Matthew 7:15).”

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44

One of the devil’s tactics was first displayed in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-7). That is the tactic of altering focus from the commitment to obey God. Also, he changes focus from the grace of God’s manifold blessings to the focus on the one thing that we do not possess, but we think we want. Adam and Eve were conned with deceiving words and the same tactic will be tried on the body of Christ, both individually and collectively.

You’ve heard the expression; “all that glitters ain’t gold.” Just because it looks good, doesn’t mean that it is good. Have you ever had a Lexus driver try to sell you a Pacer? Has a stallion rider ever tried to sell you a donkey? If these things are so good then why isn’t the seller investing in it himself? It’s like the President trying to sell you an economy car and He rides in a limousine or a jet plane every day. If it’s all that great, then why is the seller not an owner too?  We must be careful to remember that our lifestyle is a faith walk not an emotional walk. Get back in focus! Don’t let the adversary’s lies steal your joy and destroy your confidence in God’s faithfulness to supply all your needs and not deny you any good thing. Focus on the abundance God has already given you. Delight yourself in Him (Psalm 37:4) and He will give you the desires of your heart and more!

Don’t be deceived! Colossians 2:8

The deceiving spirit will use tactics such as trouble on your job: the boss treating you unfairly; co-workers lying and/or spying on you; etc. You begin to focus on the unfairness of it all: how you should have gotten that promotion or how you can get even; how you can quit… “Danger, Danger!” The deceiver will speak cunning and enticing words to get your concentration on one closed-door while they steal all that you possess in your many open doors. Your focus is being destroyed. You have lost focus on the fact that God supplies all your needs and that you are an ambassador for Christ whose goal is to cause others to seek Christ as their personal Savior.

Don’t lose focus!! (Philippians 3:14)

You may be happy at your job: coworkers are praising you, enticing you; and you are making a lot of money, and the more overtime you work, the more money you can make. Now you are too tired to go to Midweek Bible Study and Prayer Meeting or even too tired to go to Sunday Morning Worship. You are never home in time for family breakfast or dinner; and you don’t make PTA meeting, etc. “Danger, Danger!” Your focus is being destroyed! You have lost focus on the fact that you wanted a good job to provide for your family the way God would have you do in the way God would have you to. Your job is your resource to provide for your family as you do the work God has called you to.

Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

lieKillStealDivorce is rampant. The adversary is killing the family network which eventually leads to ultimate destruction of a nation. Like shooting ducks at an amusement park, men are succumbing to temptation and walking away from wife and children. In Tyler Perry’s movie ‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’ the marriage counselor announced that she and her husband were divorcing. As they talked with their divorce lawyers, she kept saying over and over “It’s going to be okay. We love each other.” Huh! Isn’t that an oxymoron? There’s got to be a lie in there somewhere! Their close friend commented; “14 years you’ve been with this woman, there’s gotta be something in them 14 years’ that’s worth fighting for! It’s baffling how we reconcile our differences in order to stay on a job for 30 years despite the difficult issues: awful boss; low wages; and backstabbing co-workers; etc.  We refuse to allow the devil to steal our job, but we give up and allow him to deceive, steal, kill and destroy a family we’ve invested in and committed to for so many years…

God reconciled with us who were wretched sinners unworthy of anyone’s mercy, don’t you think that He can help reconcile differences with your family? Perhaps your focus has been so deceptively altered that you are willingly “throwing the fight.”

There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.           Proverbs 14:12

This is indeed an adulterous generation (Mark 8:38). Recently it was reported that 48% of first births are outside of marriage. Sometimes the parents live together without making wedding vows, but eventually sever the relationship.  I worked with a single lady who constantly complained that her physical clock was running out. She was focused on world standards and not the awesome ability and sovereignty of God. The Christian life is not based on earthly varying ‘politically-correct’ absolutes, but on God’s immutable truth, omniscience and ability to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Get back to the basics of Bible Study and Prayer so that you are equipped for the battle.  Search the scriptures and see how the adversary consistently attacks and tempts the saints. Be on guard. Pray, and again I say, “PRAY (1 Timothy 5:17)!” Study and pray so that you can discern both good and evil. Remind yourself often of what your focus should be. Remind yourself of the will and work of God (John 4:34). Let God help you fight. Let God exalt you. God is the source of your victory: physically, financially and relational.

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body … Matthew 10:28

Life is a ‘spiritual battle’ that gets physical. The enemy is so cunning and cleverly deceptive, how can we win this heated battle???

God already made preparation for His own to win. In a Garden, late in the night, while He wept and anguished (sweat like blood upon His brow), they plotted the betrayal, capture and killing of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. As the hour grew near, He momentarily wished that the ‘bitter cup’ be removed (Mark 14:36), but His whole being was about the ‘will of the Father’. He also knew that if He did not go the distance, we would be defeated and we would be perpetually killed and destroyed as the adversary would have stolen our right to receive eternal life and right relationship with the Father and deny us victory. They stole Him away from the Garden and took Him secretly from court to court, falsely accusing Him, and then they stripped Him, ridiculed Him and beat Him, destroying His priestly appearance (Isaiah 53:2). Then they unjustly led Him, bruised and bleeding, up to Golgotha Hill, nailed Him to a cross and killed Him. After He died, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a borrowed tomb. No one is buried in a borrowed tomb, but Jesus Christ was not ordinary, because on the third day angels set upon the stone, which had covered the tomb, and reported to the women disciples that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Over 500 witnesses saw Him before He ascended into Heaven on a cloud. Now He is seated on the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf and ‘ALL’ things are under His feet (Ephesians 1:22). Jesus Christ has the victory waiting to give it to all who would receive it!

Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Surely Christ would not willingly go through all that agony only to allow us to be defeated and destroyed! There isn’t a sin that He cannot forgive. There isn’t a theft that He cannot recover. There isn’t a death that He cannot resurrect. There isn’t a battle that He cannot win. Whatever you’re going through, Jesus Christ will equip you to win. If you make Him LORD of your life, He will even fight your battle. Read His word. You will find that someone in the Bible has already walked a path like yours and God gave them the victory. He will give you victory also, if you are willing. Trust in God (John 14). As Apostle Paul said, “Put on your armor and then STAND…” (Ephesians 6:13-14).

 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  Jesus Christ (John 10:10)

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Late one night I made the mistake of going to a popular Drug Store on the eve of Valentine’s Day. When I got there I decided that there must be a great sale going on because, the parking lot was unusually packed.  I had done my Valentine shopping earlier in the month; therefore, it didn’t dawn on me until I got into the store and saw the long lines; “Valentine’s Day!” The crowd was there to buy Valentine gifts and cards. These were the ‘True Love’ procrastinators.  I turned around and walked out, because it was obvious that I should wait and make my purchase on another day.

Can ‘True Love wait’? Think about it. How thespian it is to see God’s creation running even sprinting to ‘Love’; desperately clinging with emotional tongs to someone (anyone) while musing, “Could this be True Love?” They are not sure, but they will not let go. They will do whatever it requires to keep this ‘True Love’ in their grasp.  The problem is, however, that they don’t resemble the ‘Love’ that movies are made of. Like ‘nickel plated silver’, the ‘Love’ begins to expose its deficiency. The sparkle begins to fizzle. They begin to wonder, how this can be ‘True Love’ when there is no Disney magic; there is very little “happy ever…”  Is this the ‘True Love’ that movies are made of?  Who is directing; who wrote the script? Is it improvised? Has your ‘True Love’ story turned into a nightmarish comedy; absent of humor?

lftChristLuvIn order to make a beautiful compelling ‘True Love’ movie, you’ve got to have outstanding actors.  The problem is that ‘True Love’ is not a movie, but too many desperate idealists have subconsciously blurred the lines between realism and fiction. Therefore they cling to the illusion that they saw the actors perform in the movies. When they face reality they discover that life is not a movie and the ones sticking to the script are really actors who are ‘True Loves’ only until the credits begin to roll. Then they go on to the next movie set. You are simply one of the stars that they were in a movie with.

 Can ‘True Love’ wait? Are you tired of waiting? Perhaps that’s why you are clinging to anyone who is needed to complete your fantasy. Are you so anxious for ‘True Love’ that you have settled; anybody breathing will do? Are you like that ‘State Farm Commercial’ where the woman picked a boyfriend from the internet who claims to be a Parisian model, but obviously is neither French nor a model? If you’re at that stage, perhaps’ True Love’ can wait.

With divorce at epidemic levels; ‘shacking’ as an expected norm; teenage promiscuity spurring the surge of transmitted diseases; infanticide (abortion) as a billion dollar business; and domestic violence alarming frequency; it is evident that there needs to be a curriculum course, at all education levels, on ‘True Love’. However, mankind has so ‘devolved’ that they refuse to teach ‘True Love’ in the public schools. As a matter of fact government actively tries to discourage its very mention in any public arena and the psychologist, divorce lawyers and undertakers are reaping the benefits.  Oh, they will teach about sex education; how to use condoms; and how to tolerate perversion (governmentally sponsored). That’s because educators and government officials are intellectually deficient on the knowledge of what ‘True Love’ really is.

‘True Love’ is when you have disobeyed the One who created you, but that Creator has mercy on you and sacrifices another of His created being to cover you. Adam and Eve didn’t follow the script, but their Author loved them in their weakness.  They didn’t measure up to His standards, but He loved them anyway.

‘True Love’ is when you were given a promise, but though you could not wait and decided to make your own fulfillment of the promise, God loves you anyway. Though your “promise come true” was artificial or fake, God loves you and gives you the promise anyway.

‘True Love’ is when you’ve been an adulterer and/or an idolater, but God loves you so much that He sacrificed His only begotten Son to pay the bond for your crimes; for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

‘True Love’ is when you’ve been willingly imprisoned by deadly habits like substance abuse and sexual immorality, but Christ loves you enough to come and break your chains and set you free.

‘True Love’ is when you’ve made bad choices and your sins are like crimson, Christ willingly comes down off His throne to take your sins upon Himself and is beaten, mocked, and crucified to cover you and your sins; past, present and future (“love covers a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).

‘True Love’ is though you reject Him and deny Him; Christ is willing to forgive you and sit down to eat with you. He still stands at the door of your heart and invites you to come unto Him and walk with Him (Revelation 3:20).

‘True Love’ is God relentlessly seeking your good and seeking to assure you of eternal life thru Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:16).

‘True Love’ is not a movie nor is it a fairy tale. ‘True Love’ is real and not based upon a man-made script.

‘True Love’ is written by the Holy Spirit on the hearts of all who are willing.

‘True Love’ can be experienced by all who are willing to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

You may not be married or you may have been married 50 plus years, but until you’ve met Jesus Christ; until you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will never know ‘True Love’.

‘True Love’ waits for you…

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us… (NIV)” 1 John 3:16

 “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“God is love.1 John 4:8

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

At an appointed time, King Herod put on his royal apparel, sat on his throne, and made a stirring and eloquent speech. The people gave him a great ovation and would not stop shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” And immediately the angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers in Jesus Christ (Act 12:21-24).

This world is so tricky and cunning. As soon as you’re born, your self-worth, value and purpose is challenged. Suddenly you see the light of day and just as suddenly you are surrounded by mercenaries of the ‘adversary’ trying to shape and mold you into the image of the world value system. When you were born, you were cute and sweet, lovable and precious. You were fine just like you were. As you begin to mature you begin to be bombarded with: “If you don’t dress like this, you are not fashion literate and that’s not good”; “If you don’t get your hair done at that shop you’re not in tune with what’s happening”; “If you don’t drive that car you’re killing the planet”; “Everyone has an iPod, you should too”; “If you’re not politically correct you’re a bigot”; “If you don’t drink, smoke, get high or be promiscuous or immoral, you can’t be a friend or achieve success, because everyone who is somebody drinks, smokes, gets high and is a whoremonger.” Unfortunately some of the very talented and gifted people fall in line with that peer pressure and their lives are a total mess! You know, Apostle Paul made a very simple statement, but when you observe the Corinthian life style of the rich and famous, you realize that it is a very profound and prophetic statement; “Don’t give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27).” Let’s say you are an aspiring actor or actress and you meet with an agent or a talent scout, but you don’t drink hard liquor. Your agent says, “We will meet in a bar, have a few drinks and discuss the movie project they want you to be a part of.” You go there with the intention of having ginger ale, but your agent tells you that you will have to start drinking hard liquor. Now you’re faced with deciding if getting somewhere in the industry is worth compromising your principles. You say it’s just one drink, but you have just given “place to the devil.” As the years go by, you wake up with a successful acting career, but you’ve so compromised your principles and value system that your life is a mess and the whole world feeds off your moral degradation. All this because one compromise led to more and more demands and compromising your value system…

I’ve got a question for you; did that agent, or director or talent scout or boss give you the talent that you have? Think about it. All they have done is mold you into the image of the world, telling you that “you have to do this in order to get the world to see your talent.” It seriously sounds like prostituting your talent or gift. Really! Note that God declares that He knew you when you were in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). God gave you your gift; but He gave it to you for His good purpose (Ephesians 1:11) and not to be another notch on the world’s belt. If you have observed: notches on a wall or a belt just look like notches… nothing special. However, it looks like graffiti to God (a sinful mess all over your soul). You can act like everything is okay, but you have sold yourself and worth for “30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).” A struggling street musician has more self-worth then you do because every time he gets applauses, every time he sees someone put money into the hat, he gets encouraged and assesses his growing value, and not one of his audiences asks him or compels him to compromise his principles.

Well, that is the sad state of affairs. So how do you get joy and freedom? I suggest that you step back and take a serious look at the trappings and maneuver your way through the entangled worldly maze. I like the way Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:12) and Michael Jackson put it, “Take a look at the man in the mirror”. If you look, you will see the reflection of how the world has molded you; but if you look at the reflection in the Bible, you will see how God made you. He formed you as a man or woman and He said it was good (Genesis 1:27-31 ) He stitched into your essence a gift or a talent and placed on your imageheart a charge to use that gift to sustain your provisions and to impact others for His glory. Your image, your moral instincts and discernment between right and wrong were God infused into the fabric of your soul, but now your vision is impaired and cloudy; your image is sinfully stained.  Because of His love, grace and mercy, you can be rescued…you can be saved! You can be delivered in a crowded room or in the privacy of your home. All you have to do is confess to God that you have sinned against Him, invite Christ into your heart and confess Jesus Christ, who died on the cross then rose again on the third day, as your LORD and Savior. Then you shall be “changed, freed and delivered.” After this, when you look into the mirror, God will show you just how much He treasures you and how you can use your talent and walk in His purpose without compromise. You think your talent is seen now, just wait until God becomes your agent. The world “ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Those people who have made you a disciple of the world with promises of wealth and fame… Don’t you know that God can take them out faster than a blink of an eye? We really dwell too much on how we appear to man who is subject to God (whether they know it or not). It’s not just the publically immoral, but it’s the average Jane Doe and John Smith (whether they go to church or not) that spend too much time being anxious about how they appear to other people. The One who created heaven and earth with a Word; the One who already declared that He will make a new heaven and earth whenever He pleases; the One who decides whether you live or die; the One who has already promised eternal death for the wicked; that’s the One who you should be concerned about pleasing.

Caution! Don’t be as the rich man who asked what more can he do to assure himself of eternal life. Christ replied, “Sell all you have and give to the poor and follow Me.” The man bowed his head and went away sorrowfully (Matthew 19:21-22). I don’t know how great your acquaintances are, I don’t know your economic status or your influential position, but it is not greater than what God can give or take away. All those ‘things’ will become ashes. The disciples asked Christ, “then who can be saved?” Christ replied, “Anyone who gives up anything to follow Me will get it back a hundred times more.” (Matthew 19:25-29)

I have placed before you a plan of deliverance. Right now, you are a Spiritual ‘Zombie’: dead in your trespasses; and the world you are in is shoveling sand on your body every day. The media has already written your obituary! Christ is giving you a choice: Life or death. You don’t need a scriptwriter or a talent agent to be set FREE. The Holy Spirit breathed the Holy Bible thousands of years ago. Jesus Christ has already given the perfect sacrificial ‘performance of a lifetime’. He gave up position, status and wealth just to write your life story with His own blood, sweat and tears. He was your ‘stand-in’. Jesus Christ died on a cross so that your life story would have a happy ending!

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (NIV).    1 Corinthians 13:12

That’s Today’s Single Focus.

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

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, or give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”* says the Lord. Romans 12:19

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. Luke 23:34

from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD; I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”  Matthew 6:14

But, if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.  Matthew 6:15

forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.  Matthew 6:12

when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25

“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:26

“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. Luke 17:3

“And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” Luke 17:4

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:10

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Romans 4:7

Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Romans 4:8

And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ‘s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the un-circumcision of your flesh (your sinful nature was not yet cut away), God has made alive together with Christ, having forgiven you all trespasses Colossians 2:13

I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 1 John 2:12

Have you ever had the occasion to sit down and try to think of ways to get back at someone who offended you? Maybe you’ve had sleepless nights, because all you can think of is how they have hurt you; embarrassed you; offended you; or, as Christ would put it, sinned against you?  Have you gone as far as looked for a lawyer so that you can take them for every penny they have? Every time you look at them, do you just want to smack them upside their head?  Don’t you just love their gall to grin in your face after stabbing you in the back?  It was mean and spiteful, and they think it is funny!  They were wrong and that’s the truth! However, God says, “you must forgive them!’

Seriously…? Yes, seriously! You see, when Christ died for your sin, He died for their sins too. Look at what He said in 1 John 1:10; ‘If you say you haven’t sinned, you’re lying (which makes you a sinner).’  The point is that married couples will live with forgivenessone another long enough to offend one another at some time.  Some couples hold a grudge right into divorce court and accuse each other of being at fault. Okay, one started it and said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing; then the other retaliated in a way that offended the other; and now it has escalated to “irreconcilable differences.”  The fact of the matter is both sinned against each other.  Christ teaches us that, if one repents and one forgives, differences can be reconcilable.

You have sleepless nights; you may even have an upset stomach every time you think of or see those who have offended you. That’s really showing them… You’re sick and tired while they merrily go on their way healthy and well rested. Let me let you in on a little secret: they say that ‘you can’t beat God giving’; you can’t ‘beat God avenging’ either! So if you really want to get back at them, forgive them and let God take care of your enemies! Take my word for it: you’ll have the last laugh” You’ll get healthy and some sleep too!

Unfortunately, the prisons, hospitals, and graveyards are overflowing with people who were bitter and wanted revenge. Un-forgiveness will imprison you or kill you!

It’s a New Year! Don’t let bitterness and anger divide, imprison or hospitalize you! It’s time to move on. It’s time to focus on God’s grace and His will to forgive you of your sins. It’s time to stop focusing on enemies and their evil devices so that you can diligently succeed in reaching your goal and fulfilling your dreams!  It’s time to be grateful for the forgiving mercy of God towards you. Let us give God thanks and resolve to enlist the help of the Holy Spirit to help us forgive…

May this New Year bring us peace of mind and vibrant health, because when we pray, we are careful to forgive others and receive the forgiveness of God.

 

 “Forgive, and you shall be forgiven” Luke 6:37

That’s Todays’ Single Focus…