Tag Archive: truth


DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Publication2

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

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

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

What do you expect when you pray?

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

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

What do you expect when you pray?

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

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

What do you expect when you pray?

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Advertisements

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

white on orange

WHITE ON ORANGE by D.J. Martin

PSALM 41:1-3 (KJV)

Blessed is he that considereth the poor:

1. …the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

2. The LORD will preserve him,

3. …and keep him alive;

4. …and he shall be blessed upon the earth:

5. …and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.

6. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing:

7. Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED-3 

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

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

'DAWN' by D.J. Martin

‘DAWN’ by D.J. Martin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  That’s Today’s’ Single Focus…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Today’s’ Single Focus…

brazillianChrist2by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

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

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

Imagine someone in whom you trust with your money.

Imagine someone who you speak with everyday.

Imagine someone who values your insight and advice.

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

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

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

Imagine someone who eagerly does anything you ask them to.

Imagine someone who you love enough to wash their feet.

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

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

Imagine that someone going to your favorite praying spot

and betraying you by kissing you on the cheek.

Imagine that someone helping church leaders frame you

and bring you into Federal Court and falsely accuse you.

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

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

on your way to die on Calvary.

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

What Price Loyalty???

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

 

 

 

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…

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

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

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

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

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

The fear of the LORD is to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But He answered and said, “It is written,

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

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

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

“That we [from now on]

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

” My mouth shall:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Todays’ Single Focus

Keys

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Have you noticed that you really don’t appreciate the value of keys until you need them and don’t have them or you’ve lost them?

Take Adam, in the Garden of Eden, for example. Adam was in charge.  He ruled the world. He held the keys! He walked and talked with the Creator God who said that whatever Adam called it, that’s what it would be (Genesis 2:19). He was free to enjoy everything in the world except the fruit of one tree (Genesis 2:16).  But, when he and Eve, his wife, fell for the cunning deceit of the devil (Genesis 3:1), that one tree became his downfall.  He traded ruling the world; enjoying all the richest and fullness thereof; and close relationship with the powerful creator of the world for the fulfillment of a desire for the fruit of one tree. He allowed the word of God to become debatable (Genesis 3:1-4)…As a result; he gave up his authority and turned the keys over to the devil. All because he ate from the one and only tree he was cautioned against. One tree…!

Esau, the oldest of parental twins, held the keys of the blessings of Isaac, his father; he had the birthright. After his father’s demise, Esau would become the lord over Jacob, his brother; everyone and everything that Isaac had. He would also enjoy all the richest and pleasures that came with it.  Jacob and Esau were the classic example of sibling rivalry.  Jacob was a serious-minded con who had a great appreciation for the value of things, like the birthright…but he didn’t have the keys! Esau was a macho man.  He was rugged, outdoorsy and adventurous.  While Jacob stayed around his mother and close to home, Esau would be out challenging the wild kingdom. One day he returned famished from one of his adventures.  Esau was so hungry that he thought he would die!  Jacob, a good cook, was cooking on this particular day.  Esau pleaded with Jacob and bargained with his brother for a bowl of soup.  Recognizing his hunger, Jacob cunningly asked his brother to trade his birthright for one bowl of soup (Genesis 25:31)…and he did.  Esau, who didn’t take it seriously (until he needed it), traded his blessing (Hebrews 12:16), his right to rule and right to enjoy all the pleasures that came with rule for one bowl of soup! Unwittingly, Esau gave Jacob the keys to his birthright, his blessing; for one bowl of soup. One bowl…!

There was a time when ‘Black Americans’ had no keys. They had no rule and were denied a birthright. They have come a long way from the bondage of slavery, because of great men like the ‘White American’ and Republican politician, Abraham Lincoln, who gained position to turn the injustice around…and he did!  Thousands of ‘White Americans’ shed their blood for slaves to be unshackled and given keys of freedom from bondage.  However, after conceding that they should be free, half of the country reserved their privilege of being equal.  Though emancipated and given the keys of freedom, they continued to be treated like they were when they were slaves.  They didn’t make them work for nothing, but they withheld keys of dignity and rule. They couldn’t live in the same neighborhood; they couldn’t vote; or go to the same church. They were no longer slaves by the law of the land, but they were conditioned to live within the slave mentality.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. expressed that his dream was that man would be judged not by the color of his skin, but by the depth of his character. The problem was that in half the country, the character of a ‘Black American’ man was shredded. American children of all ethnicity were taught that the ‘Black American’ man was lazy, criminal and deserving of no respect as a fellow human being; unable to rule and undeserving of the keys. Then they positioned and conditioned him to fulfill the caricature.  Like a generational curse, they wouldn’t give him a lucrative job or distinguish position, because of the color of his skin; and then they boxed him in so that he would have to leave his family so that the wife could collect governmental provision, like food stamps and welfare checks. And he always called the White American’ man “Boss”; a reminder that he was free, but not equal…he could not rule!  Rather than give them keys to economic viability, they cunningly tore up the Black American Family and made many of them wards of the state. But the ‘Black American’ Churches and their Pastors, recognizing the value, began to head up the fight to grab hold of the keys…and they did! Brave men and women like Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. eventually changed things.  Then visual reminders of the slave mentality, like “Colored only” signs, began to come down and ‘Black Americans’ in all the country were able to vote and be elected without restrictions. They were given the keys of rule.

Christ told the church that he has given them the keys (Matthew 16:19) of the kingdom… However, where the ‘Black American’ Churches took hold of the God-given keys of freedom and rule, too many of them turned over their keys to the politicians who were primarily on ‘one side of the political ticket’.  Forgetting that God gave them the keys, ‘Black American’ Pastors developed and continued the habit of allowing politicians to stand in their pulpits; and every election time, their congregation obediently voted for any and every politician that was allowed in their pulpit. The character of a man and God’s view on the matter began to be less important than their ethnicity, political affiliation and the pleasurable sound of cunning words promising governmental provision for all their wants.  Even though; it was that ‘one side of the political ticket’ politicians who stood on the steps and said they would not integrate their schools and were former KKK leaders and members who withheld the keys, noticeably, national ‘Black American’ politicians, from that ‘one side of the political ticket’ (in general) started speaking their slave mentality language at every election: “Vote for me, the other guy will not give you provision, because of ethnic and social bias.”  Disgracefully, former ‘Civil Rights’ leaders are accepting pay from the ‘Boss’ to say what the ‘Boss’ says to say to the ‘Black American’ constituency…and many call themselves “Reverend.”  When you have once powerful preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ preaching the doctrine of politicians every Sunday morning and at funerals too, apparently somebody traded their keys for a con (Luke 11:52).  Jesus said He knows what you need, but seek His kingdom and righteousness first and all these things will be added to you (Matthew6:33); what you need He will provide! He gave you the keys! Somewhere along the way, too many ‘Black American’ politicians have traded concern for ‘Black Americans’ to not mentally live as slaves for their own personal desire for worldly riches…And you can tell that they are cunning their ‘Black American’ constituency, because every election time, they have that same theme “ethnic and social economic bias” (Genesis 3:5) and God’s view is debatable (Genesis 3:1-4). Unwittingly, too many Pastors and their churches have traded their keys of the kingdom for their bondage to the government(Luke 4:5-8).  They are being conned by the devil, and his cons come in all colors; just like the colorful snake in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1).

Landlords rent out houses or apartments and every once in a while they have to take back the keys and make the tenant vacate the property, because of their property destruction, continuous tardiness or not paying the rent. How long have the same politicians been given the keys, yet instead of building up the Family they are helping the destruction of it and now supporting the redefinition of marriage and the infanticide of ‘Black American’ babies? They have been in office for decades and the issue is still the same…could it be time to take back the keys?  I’m not saying that they shouldn’t participate in the voting process, but I am saying that it’s time to give the keys to those who have a desire to make you economically viable; restore the family; value you as a human being and not as a con’s “mark”; and not consider the word of God debatable! It seems to me, that the same ‘one side of the political ticket’ that institutionalized bigotry and denied their right to rule (withholding the keys) is still exercising bias, boxing them in with cunning and disguised words promising all their provisions while killing their babies and destroying their families; enslaving the minds of ‘Black Americans’…stealing their birthright (Luke 11:52).  Maybe we should take a closer look at the character of a man and not his ethnicity, social economic status and/or political affiliation.  I’m just saying that maybe we need to take back the keys!

Now that they have kept the Black American Family tore up (72 percent of ‘Black American’ children are in a single parent household.*) and unemployed (14.4% of the unemployed are ‘Black Americans’ **); the cunning ‘one side of the political ticket’ politicians are talking class bigotry. I do not resent my neighbors (of all ethnicities) down the street who have keys to million dollar homes and top of the line automobiles.  I try to find out how they did it and seek the glory of God as I follow the process of hard work and faith, because I want keys like that.  Let’s face it; even though the politicians have it, they don’t intend on helping ‘Black American’ ‘wards of the state’ to get it (Beware of holes in fences. People don’t naturally come into America to be enslaved, but to be free…)! Furthermore, we aren’t employed by the poor…I thank God for the rich who have employed me!

Surely (as some already have) all will break away from mental and fiscal governmental dependency, enslavement and idolatry; cease from being conned and recognize the value of the keys; because the Creator created all men to rule and be free… it’s our ‘birthright’!  As truth is revealed, it’s clear that it’s time to take the keys back! Jesus says the truth will set you free (John 8:32). “Whom the Son set’s free is free indeed (John 8:36).”  That’s where you start taking the keys back: knowing the truth and the value of the keys!  Christ is truth and light! Let Christ set you free! That’s why He died on the cross (John 19:18) for you and me. If you know Christ as your personal Savior, consider His point of view as non-debatable (He cannot lie (Titus 1:2 )) and as more valuable than ethnic and political points of views or desire for gain.  Politicians are saying, “vote for me and let me feed and clothe you; let me decide how and whether you live or die according to your ethnicity, social economic status and /or political affiliation.” God says that “I am all that you need. I am your provider (Philippians 4:19); I will give you ‘life’ and life more abundantly (John 10:10)!” Make a decision to value the keys and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and “all these things will be added to you (Mathew 6:33 )!”  Let God be your governing authority, your source…your provider!

God created and gifted each one of us with a purpose (2 Timothy 1:9). That purpose is not to be beggars or wards of the government, but free to use our gifts and prosper from it and He provides all that we need! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10) and all things were made by Him (John 1:3)! Let God be your one source and He will give you abundant life, no matter your ethnicity or social economic status! He has the keys! Which king, president, prime minister, reverend or politician has recently volunteered to be beaten and die to give us the keys…? Christ did (John 3:16)! He loved us so much that He volunteered to be beaten; to be bound to a wooden cross and to die so that we could have the keys of freedom, rule, blessings and everlasting life… no matter our ethnicity, social economic status or political affiliation. He died so that we could have a close relationship with the mighty God and enjoy all the pleasures that come with it!

Before you allow yourself to be conned out of valuable keys for one tree; for one bowl of soup; or one governmental provision; for one bag of richest; or one distinguish position; for one ethnicity; or one desire; for one …think! “Are you trading your close relationship with the Almighty God and all the pleasures and riches that come with it; Are you trading your ‘birthright’, your blessings, your freedom; are you trading your keys…for one (Hebrews 12:16) ?”  Look at what Christ wants to freely put into our hands…the priceless keys of the kingdom…!

You see, with the keys, whatever you call it, that’s what it will be…!

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

Keys….

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

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

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

References:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=keys&t=KJV

*http://newsone.com/1195075/children-single-parents-u-s-american/

**www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/06/news/economy/black-unemployment-rate/

All Rights Reserved