Tag Archive: friends


D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Years ago, a dear misguided acquaintance of mine invited me to the Church he attended. I told him that I would give it some thought. One day he brought a copy of the Church program to me. On the first page at the top of the program was a congregational prayer chant. The first line was “Our Mother/Father God.” It was a very glaring sign that this Church had a shaky doctrine. Jesus is not confused as to whether God is His Father or His Mother. He always called Him, “Father.” The devil will give confusing and contradictory words (Genesis 3). God does not have an identity problem but, the devil will perpetuate identity confusion. If the messenger doesn’t know that God is Father, they are confused and cannot lead you anywhere but to false doctrine and away from the truth. It is a sure sign that they don’t know God and never met the true Christ.

“A Father of the fatherless …is God.” (Psalm 82:3)

What are you waiting to hear?

At that Church and many other religious congregations, they show no love toward their parishioners, in that they do not admonish them to live holy. Instead, they tell them that they are not sinners in need of a Savior. They cleverly preach that “You will not die… (Genesis 3)” They neglect to tell them that those who deliberately live a continuous lifestyle of sin will not see the kingdom of God. (1Corinthians 6:8-10) Endorsing and embracing their sin, unfortunately, they deceive many people. Though in bondage to sin; still, people flock to hear good feeling, ear-tickling messages of positive thinking. The religious leaders will encourage the sick to take their medicine, avoid nicotine and fried foods to protect their physical bodies but, they do not warn them about the fiery destiny awaiting those who mock God and proudly practice immorality (Revelation 21:8). So, the sinners flock to places where they teach that Jesus endorses or has no problem with their sinful lifestyle because this is what they want to hear.

There is a favorite song of the world that has a lyric “Imagine there is no heaven; imagine there is no hell…” When you choose a church or a pastor do you want to hear them say, “There is no hell?”

What are you waiting to hear?

A rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked, “What should I do to assure eternal life?” What do you suppose he wanted to hear Jesus say?  Jesus said, “You know the laws …” The man replied that he had kept them from his youth.  Then, Jesus said, “Sell all you have and give to the poor,” and the young man went away sadly. Do you think he went looking for the Pharisees and Sadducees to start spending more time with them? I just wonder where he went because obviously, Jesus had not said what he wanted to hear. (Luke 18: 18-23) 

 What are you waiting to hear?

Are you visiting churches and making your decision of membership based on whether the preacher condemns living together out of wedlock? What are you waiting to hear? The first miracle Jesus did was at a Wedding between a man and a woman. (John 2:1-8) He confronted the woman at Samaria about “shacking up.” What do you think she was waiting to hear? I know it wasn’t that. That’s why she was at the well at that time of day. However, after hearing the truth from Jesus, she and the town assured their eternal destiny with God. (John 4:16-42) 

What are you waiting to hear?

In Numbers 22 we are told that the Moab and Midian nations, fearing them, strategized how to eliminate the children of Israel.  Therefore, they sent messengers to Balaam to bless them and curse the Israelites. Balaam sought God as to whether he should curse the people. God said, “No.” That’s not what the elders of Moab and Midian wanted to hear. So they offered Balaam a lucrative bribe to say what they wanted to hear. For the fee, Balaam started to travel to speak to them the words they wanted to hear. But God’s angel blocked the path so that the beast Balaam rode would not go forward. Balaam started beating his ride until the beast had enough. Instead of braying, he heard the donkey speak audibly, “Don’t you see that angel blocking the path?” I know that this was not what Balaam wanted to hear. When he recovered his senses, he went to the princes and told them that he would not curse whom God had not cursed. (Numbers 23:8) You know this was not what they were waiting to hear. (Numbers 23:11)

What are you waiting to hear?

Sadly, today there are false prophets leading churches and governments who have accepted bribes and are saying what the enemies of God or the carnal Christian want to hear. They are teaching doctrines of demons. (1Timothy 4:1)

If you are chasing after fads, prophets, and preachers who promise the world but neglect to show you how to have a personal relationship with Christ and receive eternal life, test the spirit. (1John 4:1) Are they saying what the Word of God says or what you want to hear?  If you read the scriptures, you may find that it’s not what you want to hear. But, it will be the truth, and God will remedy your condition and set you free from sin. You’ll become heir and a joint heir with the King and have everlasting life. Don’t just rely on what the preacher is saying. Don’t be deceived, search the scriptures, “for in them you think you have eternal life.” (John 5:39)

What are you waiting to hear?

Four men brought their friend who was sick of the palsy to Jesus. Jesus looked at the man, and said; “Your sins are forgiven.” Not what the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were there, wanted to hear. Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, looked back at the man and said, “Get up, take up your bed and walk!” And the man did just that. Again, this is not what the Pharisees and Sadducees were waiting to hear but, every bit of what that man and his friends wanted to hear. The man heard the truth (“You’ve sinned, but I have forgiven you”) and his condition remedied (healed) in one meeting with Jesus.          (Mark 2:3-12)

What are you waiting to hear?

Saying they caught her in adultery, several Scribes and Pharisees threw a woman at the feet of Jesus. Jesus responded, “He that is sinless, let him throw the first stone.” Not what they were waiting to hear. So her accusers left one by one. When Jesus looked up again, there was no one there but the adulterous woman. Jesus looked at her and asked, “Has no man condemned you?” “No,” she replied. Then, Jesus said to her, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-12) Now, that’s not what she expected to hear but glad she did! (John 12:3)

What are you waiting to hear?

Poor shepherds were watching their flock one night. They were listening for the sound of creatures trying to devour their sheep. They wanted to hear the peaceful and quiet baaing of their sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared engulfed by the light of the glory of God. It frightened them for they weren’t expecting this. They didn’t know what they would hear next. The angel said, “Fear not; for I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Then, suddenly the sky was full of a host of angels praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2: 8-14)

Now, that’s well worth hearing!

What are you waiting to hear?

“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

That’s Today’s Single Focus

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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

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

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…