Tag Archive: prisons


D J Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

mountain climber clpArtThe mountain climber George Mallory died trying to climb up the over 29,000 feet Mount Everest for the third time. Though a dangerous pursuit, climbing that mountain was his passion.

The Apostle Paul had such a great passion for preaching the gospel that he was arrested. His vision was preaching the gospel to the Romans. Therefore, he insisted on being tried in Rome. After the trial, instead of being freed to walk the streets and preach, he was imprisoned. They put him in a house with a guard chained to him. However, Paul preached the gospel anyhow. There from his house of imprisonment (Acts 28:16), Paul preached the truth of Jesus Christ to every Roman who made contact with him. Also, from his place of imprisonment, Paul wrote both instructional and encouraging letters to the churches. He would not remain silent because he could not.

Before he became known as Paul, he was Saul who passionately oversaw persecution of saints (Acts 8:30), but now as an Apostle of Christ, his passion turned to spreading the truth of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection throughout Rome and all Gentile nations no matter the circumstances. Paul viewed every circumstance as an opportunity to pursue his vision, not as an excuse to sin or to stop preaching. That’s the way he saw life because of his passion for salvation of the Gentiles.

Like Paul, do the things which God has called you to do with passion. Without passion, circumstances and thoughts and preferences of others will be allowed to rob and discourage you from pursuing your dream. Worldly distractions tend to take us off course. Samson was called to judge the Philistines, but he allowed the sin of immorality to quench the fire. After the grieved Holy Spirit had left him, he was led away powerless. However, one day, while being ridiculed, he confessed his sin, and God renewed his strength. Using all of his renewed passion, Samson died while destroying the enemies of God, which he was called to do (Judges 16:28).

If you are serving God without passion, maybe the fire has been quenched. Perhaps sin, discouraging words, rejections, or worries of this world have been given control and allowed to quench the spiritual flame. If you have a God-given dream or vision, but no passion, maybe you need to do as Samson; examine yourself, then pray for forgiveness and renewed passion.

Passion is as Jeremiah said; like “fire shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9). As God has revealed His vision, it has become your vision; and you should be pursuing the dream with passion. God has anointed you and placed a fire in your bones. Therefore, if the church won’t let you sing in the choir, sing at weddings or conferences. If the pastor won’t allow you to preach from the pulpit, then preach on the street corners or in prisons. If you aren’t allowed to act in a movie, like Sylvester Stallone, write your own script and make your own movies. When Hollywood didn’t want to invest in a movie like The Passion of Christ, Mel Gibson produced and directed it himself. If publishers won’t publish your book or your song, publish it yourself. If God has put the fire in you, how can you keep silent? You cannot!

Pursuing a God-given dream without passion is pursuing the dream without the fire of the Holy Spirit. Without the fire, you cannot…

But if I say, “I will not mention Him or speak any more of His name, His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” Jeremiah 20:9 (NIV)

 

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

'DAWN' by D.J. Martin

‘DAWN’ by D.J. Martin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  That’s Today’s’ Single Focus…

     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…