Category: Focus


DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

In the Beginning:

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

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

Seed of the Woman:

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

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

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

Bruising the Heel:

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

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

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

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

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

Bruising the Head:

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

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

The End?

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

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

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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®)

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…

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Have you ever headed out to a place you’ve never been before? No doubt the first thing you do is search or ask for directions. I have an invisible lady in my car that will give me directions when I ask. She talks me through the right turns and the left turns to get me to my destination. Sometimes I think I know where I’m going and tune her out. When I miss the turn or make a premature turn, she responds, “You have left the planned route, do you want me to update your route?”  Then she proceeds to get me back to where I made the wrong turn or simply redirects me back to the correct route that leads to my destination.

I recently took a trip to a place where I was promised that I would get wisdom and instruction. I had the invisible lady telling me how to get to where I would receive the promised wisdom, but I kept coming to streets thinking this was a better way to go. Because of that I was constantly being told that I had left the planned route. I was often confused, constantly driving down dead-end streets, but thankfully she mercifully calmly re-planned my route and patiently guided me to the place where I would receive that which I was promised.

The life of the children of God is like that. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to get off the planned route, because we think we know best; we decide to make a stop and make what we think is a more pleasurable detour; we don’t think that it’s a good idea to take that route; we decide to get there in our own way or the way our friends tell us we should; or various other reasons. Like the children of Israel who died in the wilderness, sometimes we go in circles when our destination is right there in plain sight.

We have access to the invisible voice of the Holy Spirit, but often don’t hear or we ignore that voice warning that we have left God’s planned route. So by the time we reach the destination, we are frustrated and have scrapes and dents: probably following those in front or stuck on the wrong path in the middle of a traffic jam of peer pressure and unable to take the off ramp for fear or intimidation. After being lost, when finally arriving at the destination, someone always asks, “Don’t you have a Navigation System?” Well the children of God do have the Holy Spirit, who is ready to route or update the route to the planned destination. But it will be very difficult to reach the destiny, if the voice of the Holy Spirit is not heard or is ignored.

“All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God…”           2Corinthians 1:20

They who are in Christ are heirs and joint heirs of the promises. Because of the sacrificial blood of Christ, all who are in Christ can expect the good promises of God, however not all experience the promises of God (Deuteronomy 29). Sadly, not all reach their planned destiny. Truly God is faithful to all His promises, but you have to stay on the planned route.

So that I can get a general idea of where I’m going, I like to look at the map and study my route first, even though the invisible lady is going to be guiding me. ‘Assuring the Promises of God’ is a self-paced devotional that can help give you a general idea of the invisible Holy Spirit’s directions and planned route to your destination to receive the promises of God.

In this devotional, ‘Assuring the Promises of God’, not only will you discover how oversight of key concerns impact experiencing the promises of God, but you will also see how individual godly character impacts the community, from your personal household to the White House.

The devotional, ‘Assuring the Promises of God’, will encourage and motivate all, whether Single or Married, regardless of age or gender to stay on God’s planned route and pursue the will and purpose of God. If you listen to the Holy Spirit, through His Word, you will reach God’s planned destiny; thereby assuring the promises of God.

“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

lion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

Related Articles

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

English: Fireworks on the first day of Summerf...

I hurried to try to make it, before the celebration was over, to hear a great gospel singer. However, when I got there, the singing was over and the fireworks was about to begin. So even though I missed her singing, I stayed around to enjoy the fireworks.

After finding ourselves in an untimely circumstance that appears to not work out the way we had planned, unfortunately we seem to have a habit of abruptly giving up and deciding that help is none existence or this is not the correct path. So we stop our journey and turn around to go home. Even when we are timely and there are no signs that help or the man of significance is not in front of our eyes, we end our pursuit and turn around to go home.

Sometimes it’s because we really don’t know what they look like or how they will be dressed or what stage they are on. Sometimes we aren’t in sync with their timing.

The wicked, however, will pursue their devious plans or the defeat of the righteous no matter how late they are. They most likely will say “We just missed them therefore let’s run faster.” But the religious tend to give up or even deny the existence of hope and victory or even deny the Author of hope and victory.

Just because you didn’t see Him, doesn’t mean that God wasn’t there. He’s omnipresent! We (the religious) will stay around to watch fireworks faster than we will stay around to see how God will come through. But, you won’t know if you stop your journey and turn around . If you decide not to stay around, you’ll miss the evidence of His Power and Glory performed!

Judas was one man who didn’t stick around. I don’t know if he expected Him to break chains and call down warring angels, but Judas was obviously disappointed about the defenseless state of Jesus Christ and His humility in the face of tremendous opposition. It didn’t work out the way Judas had planned. But, those who hung around and held tightly His Words to their bosoms; they saw His power and His Glory; they saw His triumphant and victory!

Whether we hang around or not, whether we decide to not believe in Him and walk away from Him, it will not change the fact that Jesus Christ was crucified for our transgressions and did rise from the grave, and is now sitting on the right hand of God the Father having all power in His Hand, making intercession for us; and soon one day, will come again to receive us to Himself and every knee will bow and every tongue (believers and non-believers) will confess, “Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings!”

I pray that this New Year,

  1. I will not be too quick to give up on the merciful and powerful intervention of God.
  2. I will be more diligent to take the time to actively pursue seeing His power and His glory in every situation to victory.
  3. I will vigorously pursue righteousness and seek a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ.
  4. I will chase a thousand and seek God’s kingdom agenda.

I pray that this New Year, all who I come in contact with will have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; and in our walk and our talk we will be quick to confess that Jesus Christ is real and indeed Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (KJV)” Psalm 27:14

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

Photo credits:

English: Fireworks on the first day of Summerfest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

LUKE 2:1-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

Photo Credit

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

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Creation of Adam ( )

In the beginning the earth was a garbage dump; void and dark (Genesis 1:2). It was chaos having no substance and no life. God said, “Let there be…;” and it was (Genesis 1:3). What astounding power! With His word darkness disappeared and light surrounded the earth. At His word waters separated into the heavens and the earth. Not only that, but at His word, the waters separated and contained themselves in the clouds in the heavens and in the crevices in the earth. God merely spoke and whatever He said, “Let there be…” came into fruition (Genesis 1). And get this; He has preserved the earth from destruction (Nehemiah 9:6). The sky has not fallen, birds still fly and flowers still bloom. The moon has not fallen; neither has the sun.  No one can compare to such power!

God said “Let there be…” and the sun and the moon still hang in the sky without wires. No man has to groom the sun or the moon; no man has to devise a plan to keep them from falling or getting too close. Man uses the power from the sun, but no man can contain the power thereof.  Man has been to the moon, but no human being has preceded its existence.  There is no power like the Word of God.

I’m talking about power!

Elijah went to the temple mount and challenged the priest of Baal.  He said, “If the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” So they took two bulls; one for them and one for Elijah; and laid them on wood, but did not put fire under them. The priests called on the name of Baal, their god, from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice, nor any that answered. So they leaped upon the altar and cried loudly, and cut themselves. Into the evening of the day, they did this, but there was neither voice, nor anyone that answered, nor any fire from their god (1 Kings 18:26).

Then Elijah built an altar in the name of the LORD. He had four barrels, filled with water, poured two and three times on the bull, and on the wood. The water ran all around the altar. Then he filled a trench around it with water; and said, “LORD God, let it be known this day that you are God and that I have done all these things at Your word (1 Kings 18:36).” Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, “The LORD, He is the God; the LORD, He is the God.” Elijah did not cut himself; neither did he have to shout as if God was hard of hearing, asleep or made of stone. He merely spoke as His servant and the power of God was manifested.

I’m talking about power!

God took Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones and said, “…Can these bones live (Ezekiel 37:3)?” Ezekiel replied, “O Lord GOD, You know.” So God told him to speak to the bones and tell them the words God had given him to say. As Ezekiel spoke the words of God, there was a noise, then a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. Then he saw the sinews and the flesh cover the bones, but they had no life, until God told him to speak to the wind. So Ezekiel spoke to the wind the words that God had said and when the power of God had moved; before his very eyes there stood a great army where once were dead men bones (Ezekiel 37:10).

I’m talking about power!

A Roman centurion, a Gentile, sought after Christ to heal his servant. Jesus said “I will go see your servant.” But the centurion said, “I’m an officer, I just send my word and it gets done. Just send Your word (Luke 7:7-8).” Christ praised his faith and sent His word. Then they found the servant alive and well where he had been sick and dying. This man of earthly power understood and had faith in the extraordinary power of the Lord and His Word.

rembrandt_resurection_christ_1639I’m talking about power!

In the middle of the night, they took the Lord Jesus Christ from courtroom to courtroom. They paraded Him before the people, bruised and beaten beyond recognition (Isaiah 53). Then they hung Him on the cross (John 19:16-19), where He died. They placed Him in a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:60) and the guards rolled a stone over its entrance. “At last,” thought the self-righteous Pharisees, Sadducees and Romans; “Their nuisance was defeated and would trouble them no more.” But when two women came to His burying-place, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. As they were perplexed, they saw two angels who said, “Why do you seek the living among the dead (Luke 24:5)? He has risen just as He said He would!”

I’m talking about power!

Before Christ ascended into heaven upon a cloud, He was seen by over 500 people (some even sat down and ate with Him (Luke 24:43), and He reiterated the fact that; “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18).”

He has all power in His Hands (Matthew 28:18).

I could go on and on… There really are no earthly words to adequately describe the astounding power of our God! There have been countless times, experienced and written about where if it had not been for the power of God…! One day, it won’t be long; God will command the angel to blow a trumpet. Then the dead in Christ will rise and those who remain will be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye and  (1 Corinthians 15:52) caught up in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16), to meet the Lord in the air…

I’m talking about power!

Have you a personal experience that you can share of the power of God intervening in your life?

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (KJV)” Psalms 62:11

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

Photo credits:

Creation of Adam (Wikipedia)

Rembrandt_Resurection_Christ_1639 (ErgSap)

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t be deceived! Colossians 2:8

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

Don’t lose focus!! (Philippians 3:14)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus.

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

‘I have said to you, “You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.  Leviticus 20:24

And if you [be] Christ‘s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  Galatians 3:29

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, Romans 4:20

And being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Romans 4:21

For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.  Hebrews 10:36

And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.  Hebrews 6:11-12

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

God’s promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.  Hebrews 4:1

For all the promises of God in Him [are] yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.           2 Corinthians 1:20

Imagine yourself, told by your dad, that he has prepared a good and marvelous gift for you, but you will have to rise early prepared to go with him to get it. You and your dad get up early the next morning, but he receives a telephone call just before you get into the car. Therefore, your trip to pick up the gift gets delayed. Then when you and your dad finally leave, a thunderstorm starts and your dad has to drive thru the storm to get to your gift. As you ride with him, you marvel at your dad , because he remains calm driving thru the storm even as it begins to hail and he passes thru traffic and accidents along the way.

When you get there, your dad pulls out a giant umbrella, carries you in his arms, and walks under a long awning into the building, which contains the gift. When you get inside, you see that you and your dad are dry. As you walk towards the door, behind which is your gift, there stands a man who looks like a giant and like your past nightmare. Therefore you turn to your dad and say, “That’s okay dad, I don’t need the gift,” because you fear that the people behind the door might be as frightening as the doorkeeper appears.  No matter how much your dad softly encourages you, you cry hysterically and refuse to go in. He even shows you a picture of the gift though he wanted it to be a surprise. However, you remain steadfast. You will not go in. You will not accept the gift!

That is what happened at the River Jordan in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.  promisesGod persuades Pharaoh to release His people.  Not only does he let them go, but also they are loaded down with riches. Moses leads them to the edge of the promise land and at the command of God, Moses sends out spies to report the depth of the riches of the land, which God was giving them. After God brought them across the Red Sea on dry land and then overflowed their enemies with that same Red Sea, the people acknowledged the richness of the land, but refused to go in for fear of the giants they had seen in Jericho. They reported that it was a great land, but refused the gift! Everyone who refused to go in died in the wilderness.  Joshua however, led the new generation into the promise land. They received so much land that it took several chapters to record it all.  The elder children of God refused to take Jericho and died in the wilderness, but their children did not die in the wilderness and received Jericho plus much much more.

This New Year let us be careful not to refuse the promises of God. I don’t know what He has promised you or what He has desired to give you, but don’t be foolish; take it! Let Him express His love for you in His own perfect way! All through the Bible and testimony of the saints and throughout life, God has demonstrated that its He who gives victory over adversaries, no matter how giant or fierce they seem to be.  Remember that they stand there, like the walls of Jericho, to keep us from taking what God has given us.

That house, car or position you feared to be too much of a challenge for you, pray about it before you refuse it. Whatever it may be, let the Jordan experience be an example.  We should not be hasty to fear the giants more than God and His promises. May we resolve to prayerfully accept the promises and/ or gifts of God and be careful to give Him glory in our testimony.

Have a blessed and victorious New Year! Let the love, favor, grace and mercy of God be experienced each day!

 

 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above”  James 1:17

That’s Today’s Single Focus…