Tag Archive: love


DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

I love this time of year because it causes all men to take time to reflect on all things we are thankful for. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the Pilgrims and Indians who started the right tradition of gathering together on one accord to give thanks to God. The same things they were grateful for are what we in this country can be thankful for today. It was not easy, but they survived. God brought the rain and increased the fruit of the ground which was often times barren land. Thanks be to God, for now they had food from their garden and meat on their table.

confessbwI am thankful for the farmers all over this land. I am thankful for my Uncle Bud who had a peach orchard and my Aunt Birdie who raised my Mom as if she was her own. I am grateful for my grandpa and grandma who had corn fields and raised chickens on a small farm. I am grateful that God sends the rain in due season. I’m thankful for the fresh smell after the rain and the beauty of the frost on a cold morning.

Because some of their family and friends didn’t make it, the Pilgrims and Indians were grateful to be alive having survived disease, hunger and unpredictable weather. There they were, two ethnic groups on one accord, though they had to endure the hardships that those with wicked intent had brought upon them. For there had been thieves and opportunist there. Yet, God kept them safe and brought them together to show their gratitude to Him.

I’m grateful that I was not home when thieves broke into my house and nothing was taken that could not be replaced. I’m grateful that my brother is alive today having survived retrieving my stolen car which he found parked in front of a crack house. I’m thankful that my sister is alive having survived a shooting episode in our community and the disease of cancer. I am grateful that my brothers survived a fire in our house when they were young.  I am thankful that God healed my mother of cancer and protected my father on the battlefield. I’m truly grateful to God for allowing a crack house in the neighborhood to burn down after I prayed.

I am grateful that God established a nation like this where we can freely worship Him in spirit and in truth. I am grateful that I live in a country where I can pursue life, liberty and happiness. I’m grateful that I can pursue my dreams no matter my status or financial beginnings.

I’m grateful for God consistently providing food on my table when I didn’t have two dimes to my name. I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep on, though Christ had “no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58).” I’m grateful for Sears Department Store for giving me a part-time job while I pursued my desired and more permanent vocation. I am grateful for a handsome silver-haired Superintendent of Schools for taking a chance on me, when others had not. I am thankful to God for keeping me through the barrage of bomb threats and clandestine but sometimes overt bigotry. I am grateful for a fourth grade student, named Joe who showed me unconditional love, and for three talented third grade boys who boldly discussed Jesus Christ among themselves. I’m grateful for parents that instilled within us love for others no matter the color of their skin, financial status or position.

God has blessed my going out and my coming in, whether in the country or in the city.  I will praise His name and magnify Him with thanksgiving. I am grateful for family and friends. I praise Him for a pastor that teaches the uncompromising truth, which is Jesus Christ. I thank God for His mercy for I have survived rejection, poverty, car crashes, sickness, three surgeries, and a fall from a ladder.

I am grateful that He loves me enough to correct me and refuses to leave me ignorant without understanding. I’m thankful that He freely gives me wisdom and discernment. I am thankful for open doors He created while I rested in Him. I am grateful for praying parents who taught us to seek His face. I’m grateful that He hears and answers prayers. I am thankful that He forgives my sin and loves and has redeemed me.

I could go on and on, but I won’t this time. I will simply say “I will bless the Lord at all times and daily give Him thanks. I will bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (PSALM 103:2).

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  Psalm 100:4

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®)
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…

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Valentine Card by d.j. martin

Valentine Card by d.j. martin

I don’t know a lot about Valentine’s Day. When it first became a holiday or its origin is a mystery to me. I did investigate the holiday a long time ago. I don’t remember much about what I found. However, I do have sense enough to know that the cupid with its arrow is undoubtedly of pagan origin. The Holy Bible, from Genesis to Revelations, makes no mention of heavenly angelic beings called ‘cupid’.

Though Moses never put it on the Holy calendar and Jesus never commanded that we follow such an edict, I am grateful for the day. Hey, what may have been meant for evil, I’ve seen God transform for good (Genesis 50:20).

On one day of the year, everyone is reminded that they need to take time to tell someone who they love, that they are loved. People get so busy living that they take love ones for granted. Sometimes the love ones need to hear or read the words. Sometimes they need to see that they are not being taken for granted, and need someone to remind them that you’re grateful that they are in your lives. Sometimes they need to know that they are appreciated and special to you.

This day is more than about cupid’s conditional amorous arrow. I like the fact that this day is reminder to take the time to let someone special know they are loved. This day should not pass without you expressing love and appreciation for somebody; be it your mentor, your best friend, your confidant, your parents, your siblings, your children; or your husband or wife. Somebody in everyone’s lives needs to know that they are appreciated and loved, unconditionally.

No, Moses never commanded that there be a feast with unleavened bread shaped like a valentine heart, but he did command that we should “love the LORD God with all our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:5).” Jesus never commanded the disciples to celebrate a day of love, but He did give a commandment about love:

“This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 15:12).”

Everyone is going around celebrating the love they have for someone, but not many truly know how to love like God knows. God’s love is overwhelming. His love is faithful. He never breaks a promise. God is forgiving and He is a covenant keeper. Not only was it written, but He demonstrated His love toward us in that “He sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him (1John 4:9).” “God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).”

You may not get a valentine’s card or flowers on this day, but in no wise does it mean that you are not loved. God has already sent you an everlasting card straight from His heart. He has established His unwavering love for you. His love was written and expressed, even before you were born. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).”

Red is the color God used to express His love: the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed as atonement for my sins. Oh how I love Him! Oh, how He loves me! Oh, how He loves you!

God’s love is written on my heart and He expresses His love to me through His mercy and grace every day. That’s why I have a different attitude about this day.

It’s a good day to abide in the love of God! It’s a good day to let God’s love be written on your heart.

It a good day to think upon how great a love God has for you and me!

“God is love.” 1John 4:8

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…

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®)

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…

Tired of being the Punch Line?

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

They say that true life is a comedy…  But, when will we get tired of being the punch line in the devil’s joke?  I mean, he is going around causing all kinds of havoc in relationships and laughing all the way to heaven, telling the joke to God (Job 1:6) and guess what…we’re the punch line of each joke (Job 1:11).  For example: I was idealistic, determined to financially promote the kingdom of God. I got to working overtime, and my ideals became a joke in the devil’s comedy routine.  I forgot the reason and purpose and just worked for the money.  At the end of the year I found out that I supported the government more than myself.  And I can’t say that the kingdom received any financial benefit. The joke wasn’t on me… My selfishness, greed, self-gratification and my lack of trust in God was the story and I was the punch line.

In the beginning God officiated the marriage of Adam and Eve (Gen 2:24). Nowadays some men are telling the ladies, “Lets live together first.”  That’s the fad today.  The world has all kinds of excuses for ‘shacking’ instead of marriage.  You’re led to believe that it is temporary, but how long has it been now?  Have you set the date yet?  Only heaven knows who you could be married to by now… The joke is not on you… It’s your world view; your selfishness; your self-gratification; your lack of trust in God, His love and His will that is the punch line of the devil’s cruel joke.

God said, “be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28).”  Some years ago some people determined to get rid of as many Black American babies as possible through wholesale abortion (genocide).  Teenagers are having premarital sex, abortionists are living in mansions and the teenagers’ adult lives have become shaky, because of possible side effects from abortion: emotional stress, barrenness, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and death… ‘Pro-choice’ marketing helps them to feel comfortable and you can’t watch anything on secular TV without viewing sexually suggestive commercials. Even the kids’ TV sitcoms subtly promote promiscuity. There are other minority groups out numbering Black Americans, because too many are choosing to behave immoral and consequently participate in abortion (there have been approximately 13 million Black American babies aborted since 1973 according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control). There are some church elders recommending abortion and there is government support (Planned Parenthood) paying for it. The joke is not on these young women… It is their naivety, self-centeredness; self-gratification; recklessness; maneuverability; vulnerability; poor self-esteem; disobedience and lack of trust in their parents’ sound advice; and their lack of trust in God, His love and His will that is the punch line in the devil’s cruel comedy routine.

God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Therefore, He has the Bible full of relational wisdom and self-growth counsel from Genesis to Revelation.  However, all kinds of turmoil are being stirred up in marriages: adultery, financial struggles… high stress situations!  Sometimes it is a matter of un-forgiveness; selfishness and pride; and lack of discipline or self-control. It probably could be remedied by giving God sovereignty in your life; studying individually and collectively the word of God and applying it in your relationship. Sometimes couples find themselves in a heated argument about dinner, discipline of children, a new purchase, a relative coming to visit, scrambling the eggs or boiling the eggs… I mean, have you ever stepped back and looked at what you’re arguing about? But then there is always someone who comes along who understands you better than your spouse. Stop! Don’t fall for that! When some person of the opposite sex comes at you when there is conflict in your marriage, that’s a clear sign that you are about to become the punch line in the devil’s comedy routine.  You’re not the joke, but your selfishness and pride (it’s my way or the highway attitude); your unwillingness to forgive (which God requires before He hears our prayers) and/or your self-centeredness (instead of focusing on the will of God) is the punch line in the devil’s cruel comedy routine.

I have too many family, friends and acquaintances whose lives and relationships are the punch lines of the devil’s cruel comedy routine.  Christ made the ultimate sacrifice and paid the price because, it is the will of God that no man parish (2 Peter 3:9).  He extends love, grace and mercy to each of us each and every day.  Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25).  That’s seeking the will of God, then sacrificing for her good, forgiving and showing grace and mercy. Wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).  Christ submitted to God the Father.  It is more than about you and your spouse’s personal preferences. Children are to obey their parents in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1).  We all are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That’s seeking their good and not their harm. It must start with the focus on the sovereignty and will of God.  After His extraordinary sacrifice and obedient submissiveness to God’s will by dying on a cross, Christ arose from the dead in power and victory.  All things are under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:27).  We may be the unsuspecting punch line, but God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). We who are in Christ are victorious in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).  Your life story is written with a happy ever after ending (Romans 8:37).  But, if you are not discerning, you will find yourself continuously being the punch line in the devil’s cruel comedy routine.

Notwithstanding, not all is a result of selfishness, but some is due to wickedness at the hands of evil people who live to prey on the innocent, undiscerning and vulnerable. Victims can be assured that “vengeance is mine” says the Lord (Romans 12:19). The Apostle Paul said that God would eventually make the disobedient believe a lie and He will turn them over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28).  You’ve seen adulterous Pastors teach the word, shout and go on like nothing is wrong, because they don’t know that the Spirit has left them.  You’ve witnessed the immoral or addicted sing or play the piano every Sunday Morning.  They spout the word of God eloquently and get all emotional as they sing or play the keyboard, but they have no idea that the Holy Spirit has left them (Judges 16:20), because they continue to live the worldly lifestyle and they haven’t been ‘zapped’ by God.  They have been given over to the devil as a punch line in his cruel comedy routine!

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being the punch line in the devil’s cruel comedy routine. This new year, let’s resolve to be alert and discerning.  Let’s obediently prioritize and honor our commitment to God and in all our ways acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:6). In every temptation or turmoil, let’s pray for discernment to know whether it is a test from God or a temptation from the devil (James 1:1-15).  Whichever it is, let’s resolve to handle the situation the way God would have us to.  Let’s pray for His guidance and direction; study His word so that we can handle any relationship the way He teaches; and trust Him for the victory (John 16:33)! Let’s put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11); thank Him for the victory by faith; and apply His word at all times. Sometimes you have to go the second mile (Matthew 5:41): forgive (seven times seventy) even when it seems unforgivable (Matthew 18:22); show grace and mercy as Christ has shown to us; love the way Christ loved us (John 14); and focus on the promised victory (Romans 8:37) even though it looks like imminent defeat.  We must resolve to have faith in God and establish that God’s way is better than the writer of Soap Operas; soft porn movies; TV sitcoms; politicians, champions of ungodly causes or doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1).  And finally, let us resolve to no longer allow our selfishness, greed, self-gratification, disregard for the will of God, un-forgiveness, and our pride to become the punch line in the devil’s cruel comedy routine.  In Christ we are victorious and that’s no joke!

 For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, [even] our faith.”1 John 5:4

That’s Todays’ Single Focus…

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

see my original creative gift ideas:  http://www.zazzle.com/dmartinpub/?pg=1#homeProducts