Tag Archive: Savior


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…

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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…

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…

 

 

 

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)

Randolph Scott (1898-1987)

Randolph Scott (1898-1987) (Photo credit: Gonmi)

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

While watching old black and white Westerns on the Classic Movie TV Channel, I noticed an interesting constant.  To be undoubtedly clear about the difference between right and wrong, throughout the entire movie, the good guys always wore white hats and the bad guys always wore black.

Whatever happened to the days when the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black? Those noble heroes adorned their heads in white hats and never said a disparaging word. They were always encouraging and bold in their speech; declaring that the wicked shall obey laws of righteousness and will be defeated. They were champions of honor, honesty and righteousness. They were men of character and integrity. They were the heroes that both the wicked and righteous women desired and young boys emulated. Their stand for truth and justice and their fight for the downtrodden, abused and deceived made them seem 6 feet tall and handsome though physically they might not be at all. They were not wearing costumes or capes; the white hat was all that was needed to identify them as the good guys.   They didn’t believe that it was another person’s job to fight the wicked, though they knew it could cost their life if they failed.   They were champions without rings or streets named after them. They were not like ordinary other men, because they were optimistic, hopeful and trusted in God. They expected to be and were always victorious though no man would go with them. They read their Bible and prayed to their God.

On the other hand, you always knew the wicked guys, because they always wore black. Their heart was as black as the clothes they wore. They might be 6 feet tall and handsome in appearance, but deep inside their bulging chests lodged appallingly ugly hearts; and somehow the evil therein seeped through their pores. It was not so much what they said, but how they said it. Their tongue was always contorted; speaking lies camouflaged with flattering words and cleverly crafted verse accented with perfect smile and timely pitch. They crept in the night covered by darkness or in the day sheltered by the shadows; to carry out their sinister plans. They falsely accused the good guy while plotting to rob an entire town ‘blind’ and snickered at them huddled in their Church.   The cunning words and cleaver façade always made it difficult for their ‘mark’ to discern their evil intentions until they had been swindled or tied up and robbed.  They know how to woo the hero’s lady and make it seem as if the good guy is the bad guy, but we, the observers, always knew the difference, because the good guy wore the white hat and the bad guys wore black.

Nowadays it’s difficult, even for the observers, to discern the good guys from the bad. Good guys are wearing black hats, because curiously the dress of the wicked often becomes the latest fad. The bad guys are successfully infiltrating good situations and blending in with the good; always saying the right thing at the right time, going to Sunday School and to Church.  It is way too late when they have been discovered as cons and frauds who had merely painted their black hat white. They leave the victims of their deceit bruised and broken, stripped of their dignity and feeling quite stupid. Then, having conquered the foolish, the wicked verbally abuse them and freely oppress them.

Now, I’ve only seen it in the old black and white films made before my time, but I wonder what happened to the days when the good guys were imitated and men took offense if anything derogatory was said about their mom or their lady. What happened to the days when good guys always married good women who were pure inward and outwardly; and they stayed with them (her) through sickness and in health; always protecting their (her) reputation and dignity?   Now we hear even the “Sunday go to meeting” worshipers humming the lyrics of a womanizing, verbally degrading rappers’ hit song.  Didn’t it used to be a time when men and women loved each other pure and chaste from afar until they said “I do”? I think that’s what my grand momma said. In those old black & white Westerns, someone would inevitably say, “My word is my bond.” However, today, even the marriage covenant is treated like sweet-tasting chewing gum: discarded as soon as the flavor is gone.

Whatever happened to the time when men dressed for success and held their pants up with a secure belt, always mindful to keep their underwear a private affair?  Oddly enough, unfortunately, even the good guys so blend their lives with the lifestyle of the bad, that the good guys are silenced and accept ridicule hoping that they would find favor with the bad guys.  Even the good guys seem to only be willing to be our heroes if the price is right. Nowadays, their integrity, character and stand for righteousness seem to be merely an echo; as honesty and bravery is no longer fashionable.

What’s going on?  There seems to be no more obvious Martin Luthers, Martin Luther Kings, Tank Mans/Men or Chai Lings. There’s no discerning population and no unwavering men and women of principle are heard above a whisper (perhaps because every day they are being silenced in the halls of infanticide or the scourge of political correctness).  Immorality is lauded as ‘a right’ and righteousness is bullied into silence by leaders who dress in the white of integrity, but walk on a fence ready to sway whichever way the wind blows.  Maybe the only way we can bring back those days when good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black is that deep, inside each of us; we make sure that our inner man wears a white hat.  If each individual exhibits godly character of a hero, from the inside out, pretty soon they will impact someone else and before you know it; a whole town will be full of good guys who wear white hats and my children’s children imitate. Do I dare dream…?

I used to think that it was the way they dressed; or the way they wore their hair; or the way they showed up for Church every Sunday morning that made them the good guys: champions of righteousness, honesty and integrity. One day, alone in my apartment, suddenly I understood that anyone can act righteous to accomplish their selfish desires. It’s the ones who have transformed hearts and minds (Romans 12:2); they’re the ones that eat and breathe courage and integrity: true men and women of principle and character. Now I understand that except the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14, Act 4:31) comes over them, they don’t stand strong and fearlessly exhibit godliness. Actually they don’t look like Randolph Scott at all nor do they ride a white horse like the Lone Ranger, but they always seem to show up to encourage, pray, rescue and save at just the right time.  Even if the good guys wore white hats and were heroic and courageous, unless Christ is their Savior, they will never know true victory.  You see, it starts from the heart totally yielded to the ultimate champion, Jesus Christ.

The ‘born again’ (1 Peter 1:23) follower of Jesus Christ becomes more than an observer, but a Spirit-filled participator in the fight for truth and justice.  Filled with the Holy Spirit (Act 2:4), they will leap tall buildings, penetrate steel walls, rescue the captive and give insight to the blind faster than a speeding bullet when they pray. They might not wear white hats, but they are covered by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:14, Revelation 1:5) and cloaked in righteousness, honesty, integrity and unwavering truth and character.

Perhaps we don’t recognize the good guys, because we’re looking too high up. Actually the good guys tend to be in the trenches, not in comfortable hilltop mansions. They’re the ones who back you up when you’re troubled. They are the passersby who run into a burning building to rescue you from the flames. They’re the ones who pray for you when you’re struggling. They’re the ones who empty their pockets so that you are fed though you’re a stranger. They are humble and unassuming men and women who comfort and encourage. Though they don’t even know your name, they mercifully hold your hand or wipe the tears from your eyes when, in your life, tragedy has struck. When you stumble, rather than condemn or judge you, they extend their hand of mercy to help you up.   Amazingly when there is a need, they are always showing up in the nick of time and do not require payment from you; not one dime. The good guys don’t always look strong and courageous. They might wear uniforms, but most times not. The good guys could be your neighbor or yourself who speed to rescue without hesitation; all because someone needs help. They stand at the ready to show captives the path to freedom and break the chains that bind. They sound the alarm when you draw near to danger and they don’t stand around waiting for you to show some kind of gratitude.  They may not wear white hats, but they are up close and personal champions; men and women of character and integrity who wear invisible helmets of salvation (Ephesians 6:17) and breastplates of righteousness (Isaiah 59:17).

I noticed another thing that was common in those movies. In the moment of truth, the good guy always had to fight the battle by himself, because the people who needed to be rescued were intimidated by the wicked and believed deceiving words which rendered them helplessly shackled by the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). They thought that it was best to try to make the wicked happy and then they would be left alone (“evil prevails when good men do nothing”). It speaks to a truth of life: real heroes are discerning and are a rare commodity specially designed and providentially dispatched by God. Though the wicked is cunning and cleverly disguised, somehow the surrendered soul totally yielded to Jesus Christ, rightly discerns the righteous from the wicked, whether or not the bad or the good guys wore white hats.

Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not…” (NKJV)  Malachi 3:18

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

GOOD NEWS!

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Good News AngelIn a time when the ungodly, claiming to be deity, was in power and ruled and demanded that all the people leave their jobs and travel to their homeland by foot or donkey or wagon or camel to pay unjust taxes (Luke 2:1); Mary and Joseph arrived in the city of David, Bethlehem, which was so overflowed with people that they could not find a place to stay. All the inns (hotels/motels) were full.  Mary, being pregnant, was ready to deliver and they had to find some place. They had to stay in the stables or barn. So here they were in a smelly barn with hay as the pillow and having to deliver the baby where the animals were kept.  Joseph was a small business owner who worked as a carpenter.  Mary took care of the house.  But because of the tax law, they had to lay her new-born baby in a manger (Luke 2:7); from which the animals ate their food. There was no time to get to a hospital or a midwife. It was just Joseph and Mary, then the baby which they wrapped in swaddling clothes.  In the same city, but in the fields, were poor shepherds watching their flock. These were men of meager means, who had to work nights and a stone or a sheep or the ground was their pillow. They kept warm by a fire in the field; night watchmen if you will. A pregnant woman who has to deliver her child in a stable in an overcrowded city; a hardworking man has to use his earnings to travel from his home to pay the Roman Government part of his wages as an unjust tax; poor shepherds in a field who have to sleep on the ground; and as they are there in the field, the sky breaks and the shepherds see angels filling the sky making a joyful noise saying to them; “Good News…!” “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings (news) 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 (Luke 2:10-11 (KJV).”

Truly these were people who needed Good News, and so do we.  Thank God for ‘Christmas Celebration’ for it is a reminder that in spite of the difficulties in our lives, Immanuel: God is with us! A Savior was born and is and will always be.

We in the twenty-first century live in a nation where obviously the ungodly rule (champions of infanticide; burdensome and unjust taxes; champions of perversion; etc.).  Streets are littered with homeless people, joblessness is skyrocketing; government powers and judges are trampling on Christian religious Freedoms; adultery and divorce is epidemic; diseases from promiscuity and drug abuse is epidemic among the young; Corporations are closing and/or fleeing from a nation with unjust regulations and the highest corporate tax rate in the world; parents are burying their children; poverty is growing so that even the food banks are hungry. Unusual disaster has people still trying to find a place to stay. It’s hard to be in a celebratory mood these days. For some, it is a time of mourning and memories of grief gone by.  For many, it’s a time of uncertainty: bills are due and the company you worked over twenty years for has just announced Bankruptcy and closing of its doors.  It has not been good times for the majority of us. It seems like an odd time to announce Good News, but actually it is the best time!  We need some Good News!  Christ our Savior is born!  Though oppressed, He can make you free even when you work for a hard taskmaster…; even when your government oppresses you with unrighteous laws and regulations. Though depressed, Christ can give you joy in the midst of sorrow. Though weak, Christ can give you victory when everyone around you is defeated. Though broken-hearted, He can mend your broken heart. Trust Him! Though hungry, He will not forsake the hungry nor will His seed beg for bread. Christ will provide!  Though unemployed, Christ will open doors so that you can start your own business. Listen, I’ve been hungry, without a place to stay and jobless and couldn’t pay my bills. But in the midst of those times, ‘Good News’ was always in the mix. He was always providing when it looked like there was no provision. Christ, the Savior, always saw that I had food to eat and a place to sleep. He provided transportation and gave me favor and provided a job.  Even in the bad times, watch Christ work in your life. He is providing ‘Good News’ every day in every situation.

I know that for the majority of us, there doesn’t seem to be much to celebrate, but let’s celebrate anticipation of ‘Good News’! Christ the Savior was Born and He sits on the right hand of God making petition to God, our Father, on our behalf. Start looking for His hand of grace and mercy. You will start seeing how He’s providing and comforting. You will see Him use the unlikely to take care of you. Notice that the angels did not announce His birth to the rich and famous. The kings and the rulers didn’t know He was born until He had long left Bethlehem.  It was the poor and oppressed, it was the lowly that needed ‘Good News’!

Christmas is about the physical birth of Jesus Christ. It’s also about the spiritual birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts. Christmas is also about “Good News” to those who need a Savior, a provider, a friend, a healer, a deliverer, hope and peace giver, a mender of broken hearts, protector, etc. Christ is all that you need!

“The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”       Luke 4:18-19

Good News! Christ the Savior is born and will ever reign!

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us).     Isaiah 7:14

That’s Todays’ Single Focus…

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