Tag Archive: encourage


D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Annually, I go to see the family Physician for a regular check-up. And every year I have to fill out the same papers. However, I noticed a change in the forms. There are the standard questions, but now there are additional questions. Like, “Have you been out of the country recently?” However, there is one question that remains constant; “Who do they call in a medical crisis or emergency?” And we put down the name of the usual: parents, brother or sister, wife or husband, etc. Today, I got to thinking; when we have an emergency, who is the first person we call?

When my house caught fire, my first call was to 911. I know that it would have been unwise to call anybody else first. But, I was thinking about how, when in a crisis, God isn’t always who we reach out to first. I mean; when I saw the fire in my house, I don’t remember saying, “Lord please help,” before I called 911.

Further examination reveals that we encourage others that God is a very present help in time of trouble, but, too often, we have to say that because they had not called on him yet. Come to think about it; God is not often the very first person we call in a crisis. I’m not saying that as an indictment, it’s just an observation. I thank God for the first responders and the medical professionals, and the mechanics, plumbers and remodelers, and counselors and family and encouragers who are there responding to our 911. But, we don’t have a habit of acknowledging God first (silently or audibly) before we pick up the phone. In Proverbs 3:6, we are admonished to acknowledge God in all our ways. That’s something we really should work on.

SomethingHappens

by D.J. Martin

There is an account of a crisis experienced by the rebellious son of Ahab, who was now the king of Judah in 2Kings 1:1-17. Ahaziah fell through a lattice of his upper room. The injury became more than a bruise. It looked as if the wound was becoming a deadly crisis. So, the first thing he did was send messengers to Ekron to ask their idol god Baalzebub if he would die of his wound. God observed all of this and sent Elijah, the prophet, to turn the messengers back with a question from Him; “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to ask of Baalzebub god of Ekron?”

Because of the king’s action, God answered his inquiry, though he hadn’t asked Him.“Therefore, you will not come off your bed, but you shall surely die.” Ahaziah did everything to annul that prophecy. He continually sent troops to bring Elijah to him but failed. Finally, God allowed Elijah to say it to the king face to face. Indeed, as God had said he would, King Ahaziah died. He never heard from the god of Ekron.

Hmm…I’m just wondering what the prognosis might have been if Ahaziah called on God first.

In your time of crisis, who are you going to call first?

 

“In the day of my trouble, I will call upon You, for You will answer me.” Psalm 86:7

 

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

One spring, I took the opportunity to spend my vacation in Israel. While there, I boarded a boat on a pleasant sunshiny day with a group of people. We wanted to get to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. The Sea was blue and calm as we started to cross over. The day was clear so that I could see the other side. When we entered the middle of the sea, the wind began to blow. At first, it was a gentle breeze then it became more intense. The boat was rocking so much that I was sure a storm was coming soon. I began wondering if we would have to walk on water, and hoping and praying that we would reach the other side before the storm hit.

stormy seaThankfully, we made it to the other side before the storm came. There were palm trees whose leaves rustled in a gentle breeze as we approached the shore. We passed the trees into a city where the sunshiny sky was clear, blue and calm. There were no signs of an approaching storm. In fact, I don’t remember rain at any time during my stay in Israel.

Thus, this is similar to the life of the saints of God. God gives directions, and we follow them, only to occasionally be in the midst of a brewing storm: family and friends not acting right, relationships fizzling, money is funny, coworkers acting insane, the car is falling apart, or the body is aching, etc.

It looks like smooth sailing as doors open with little effort on our part. Until all these things and more begin shaking and rocking our boat. The storm seems to get so bad that if we weren’t saints, not only would we be angry, we would sin. But instead, we pray and cry, cry and pray. The fierce storm makes you wonder if God called you and if you heard right.

Unfortunately, sometimes it makes us stop forging ahead. We get caught up in trying to fix the boat and calming the sea ourselves: working overtime to get the money right, take vacation days to fly across the country to mend relationships, whatever.

Summer used to be the most frightening season for me because rainstorms could be very violent in Texas. Since my new birth in Christ, I wake up, hear the storm, and whisper “Peace. Be still,” then go back to sleep. Oh, to be able to do that with life’s storms. I found out that when I am in the middle of a storm, there is calm on the other side if I trust in God. I remind myself that I know He loves me and has forgiven me.

Storms also shape character and spiritually prepare you for victory in the task He has for you. Spend more time with God, so that He can encourage you when in the storm. He will open doors. And remember that it’s all about His glory. Focus on Him and His calling. Pray and press on. Put all affairs in the Master’s hands, and do what He has called you to do because only Christ can calm the storm.

Believe me, if a storm is brewing and you are in God’s will, a blessing is on the other side.

Be of good cheer. Christ can give you peace in the midst of a stormy sea. Ask Him for it. Christ can calm the storm.

 

“…He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” Mark 4:39

 

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Because of the sins of the children of Israel, another people had overcome them and ruled over them and the land. Therefore the Jews lived in the ruins of Jerusalem and left the walls of the city unrepaired. (Nehemiah 2:13) They lived as people without hope and made themselves comfortable with the consequences of their sin. During the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, God gave Nehemiah favor to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 2:1-8) Though tormentors came daily taunting them (Nehemiah 4:1); reminding them of the fact that they were weak and defeated people, Nehemiah came along and persuaded them to rebuild the walls and secure the gates. The mockers said that they were neither capable nor did they have a right to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The Jews had to be on guard day and night for the wicked princes sought to keep them and the city in ruins.

man in ruins

Similarly, today there are among us people who have sinned, willingly or unwillingly, who are residing in ruins; their life is a sinful mess. Every time someone like Nehemiah comes along to encourage them that they can have a new life, there are deceivers who want them to remain in ruins, constantly taunting them; telling them that they are weak and utterly sinful. They mock them and tell them that their life is irreparable and they have no right to seek a new life in Christ. They continuously pressure them into thinking there is no hope, and that life in sin is where they belong. But, as God heard Nehemiah’s prayer of repentance and gave him favor with the king to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, He will hear the prayers of a repentant heart and will give them favor, and by His grace repair their life and make them brand new.

Perhaps you or your loved ones are in a negative situation due to sins of your forefathers (Exodus 20:5), sins you personally committed, or sins committed against you. As a consequence, your house and life are in ruins; you are in bondage and a servant to sin, and unable to break free. God did not make you this way. This is not the life God intended for you. Therefore, not wanting you to perish in your sin, He prepared a way of escape and restoration. I know that people around you have deceived you, but God does not lie. (Numbers 23:19) What you have heard about the true and living God you can believe. God so loved you that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16), to take away your sins and give you new life. He wants to lift you from the ruins if you let Him.

To tune out the world or people who would have you remain in sinful ruin, pick up the Bible and see what God has to say. The scriptures will reveal the overwhelming love, restorative mercy and saving grace of God.

In His Word, you can know that by the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, God has made a way of escape from a life of ruins. He will forgive and restore the repentant soul. If you call on Jesus, you can and you will be lifted from ruins and set free from the bondage of sin.

 

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  John 8:36

 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1JOHN 1:9

 

 

That’s Todays’ Single Focus…

 

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