Tag Archive: scriptures


Reflecting on Passover and Resurrection Sunday

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Saturday Ryme

I have heard talk of tragic ‘Friday’ and I have heard shouts about triumphant ‘Sunday.’ But quiet is the voice of ‘Saturday.’

I know what went down on Friday, I know what went down on Sunday, but what is the 411 on Saturday, the day between Friday’s tragedy and Sunday’s triumphant.

Most illuminating and a little shocking; it was all so human. Surely, it is why there was no chattering.

Matthew 27 tells of Judas, the betrayer, already dead; with his own hands he died by hanging. But the Pharisees and the Priests did on Saturday visit Pilate, who sentenced Jesus to death– Friday’s tragedy. (verse 62)

Jesus’ prophesy they repeated, “After three days I will be rising. Secure the stone that covers His grave,” they were pleading. “Until the third day, give us soldiers to guard the tomb where Jesus lay, so the Disciples, His cold body they will not be taking, a resurrection hoax proclaiming.”

“Yes,” said Pilate. So, the stone was sealed; and the tomb, the soldiers on Saturday, they were watching. (verse 63)

So very natural and very human, the Disciples did (Mark 16:10) mourn the death of Jesus on Saturday and in a room, they were also hiding (John 20:19). Their leader, Jesus the Christ was dead. Surely for the Disciples they were coming.  In dismay, they saw it all happening. It was for their own lives they were fearing, like people who witnessed a tragedy, which is what the Disciples did on Saturday.

Jesus, down the road all the way to being nailed to the cross they were following, and from His lifeless body taken from the cross into the tomb, His placing. On Saturday, the women were resting. (Luke 23:56)

On the very night that He was betrayed Jesus to the Disciples repeating, He would die and after three days from the grave He would be rising. And, “After I am raised again, in Galilee, Me you shall be meeting (Matthew 26:32).” Yet, preparations to go to Galilee they were not making.

While the Priests and Pharisees preparations for the resurrection they were making; the Disciples to steal His body they were not even plotting.

After Jesus said He would die and rise again, strange talk came following. (vs 33-36)

The Disciples, on the tragedy and betrayal not the resurrection, began focusing. The Resurrection part of Jesus’ prophesy clearly, they were not hearing.

The tragedy, their weariness, and power of their enemies, the Disciples of Jesus Christ were focusing. It was the Priests and Pharisees, on the triumphant resurrection, they were focusing.

By how the resurrection on Sunday they were reacting; that He would arise from the grave, the Disciples clearly were not believing.

With anointing oils in hand, to look at an empty tomb early Sunday morning, the women were not seeking. (Mark 16:1; Matthew 28:5-6; Mark 16:3; Luke 24:5-6)

When Jesus’ rising, the women were reporting, thinking them delusional the Disciples were not believing. Though He told the women to tell them to meet Him in Galilee, to go to Galilee the Disciples clearly were not preparing. (Mark 16: 11; Luke 24:11)

When to them in the room Jesus made His appearing, a ghost the Disciples thought they were seeing. To them His nailed scarred hands and feet He was showing. And still a ghost they thought they were beholding.

When He ate fish and honeycomb, they began believing. Then, reminding them of His teaching and prophesy, the scriptures Jesus began explaining.

Shockingly, the Priests and the Pharisees were, but the Disciples for the resurrection were not preparing.

How can this be? That Thomas was not the only one doubting is most illuminating and a little shocking. It was all so human, surely its why, about Saturday, from the preachers there was no chattering.

For the weary, fearful and those that are mourning, what happened on Saturday is encouraging and from it a valuable lesson we are learning.

“O fools, and slow to believe all that the prophets have said!” To two unbelieving Disciples Jesus was responding (Luke 24:13-24). Not to Galilee, but to their home they were heading. The other Disciples, in the room, they were remaining. 

The Priest and the Pharisees believing that His rising, Jesus or His Disciples would make it’s happening. But the resurrection happening, the Disciples seem to be not believing.

What most do in dark days, the Disciples were experiencing. And when on the tragedy you are most focused, means not that you are less a Disciple, but like the Disciples back then you are growing.

How different the time of tragedy we be mourning will be on Saturday, if on the resurrection triumph we be focusing. When Jesus living, they were realizing, change in attitude they began making. Focused on tragedy of Friday, on Saturday they were mourning, but now the triumph of resurrection they are rejoicing. For change in countenance and attitude, do not stay in tragedy mourning; focus on the triumph is all I am saying.

Disciples’ Saturday teaches our focus we should be changing. Though the Pharisees and Priests disappointing acts causes mourning, or for shelter seeking we are experiencing; live preparing for and the victory anticipating.

Though resurrection Sunday, the Priests and Pharisees tried stopping; and the Disciples on Friday’s tragedy they were focusing; the resurrection– the victory, resurrection triumph was still happening! Jesus Christ, from the tomb, was still rising. Tragedy on Friday and mourning on Saturday may be along the journey, but victory in Jesus Christ, He is promising.

Throughout our entire journey, on triumph we can be focusing. Just like He said He would, He is not dead, He is alive! He arose!

In times of mourning, we can be rejoicing. Because for us, every day, the Son is arising!

“He is not here: for He is risen, as He said…” Matthew 28:7

That’s Today’s Single Focus

ALL Rights Reserved

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

by d.j. Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

To Wait... To Go by D.J. Martin

‘Waiting’ by D.J. Martin

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Wait, I say, on the LORD.

That’s one of my favorite scriptures, but there is a dilemma. How do you know when to wait and when to go?

Take Moses and the children of Israel. Moses heard he was called to deliver his people and he proceeded to go and murder an Egyptian (Exodus 2:12). It was not time to go. So, when was the time to go? When he was eighty years old, at least forty years later…Then when he got them to the entrance of the promise land, they decided to wait instead of go. They died waiting.

How in the world do you know when it’s time to wait or time to go?

Look at King Saul. The prophet Samuel told him that he would meet Saul at a specific time to make sacrifice and bless them before they went into battle. So Saul waited, but when the time came, Samuel had not arrived. The people began to get restless, making King Saul anxious. He now had a dilemma: whether he should wait or whether he should go. He made the wrong choice. He didn’t wait on Samuel, and his position as king of Israel became very shaky. It was time to wait, not time to go (1Samuel 13).

The time King David was to go with the army into battle, he thought it was time to wait. His poor choice resulted in adultery, murder and death of a baby boy (2Samuel 11). For him, it was time to go, not time to wait.

And then there was the prodigal son. He couldn’t wait for his inheritance. Things didn’t turn out so well (Luke 15:16). He should have waited.

Solomon tells us, in the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, that there’s a time for everything. But he didn’t tell us when… Just how do you know when it’s time to wait and time to go, especially if you are trying to grow your faith in God? ? ?

Four years ago, I decided that it was time to go, but God made it quite clear that it was not the time. I got pressure on every side to go, but God also surrounded me with people who had a word of wisdom. So I changed my mind and waited. I prayed for wisdom while I waited so that I could discern when it was the right time to go. Graciously, He gave me the wisdom and I chose the right time to go.

I think that the time to go or the time to wait is not based on circumstances or time of day, month or year. We at times make poor choices, because we think it is about circumstances and timing, but it must be more than that. It’s about wisdom and discernment. Since God is omnipresent, He can best reveal the wisest time to go or to wait. Thankfully, even though we can’t seem to figure it out and occasionally make the wrong choice, God forgives and re-routes us.

Patience is truly a difficult thing, especially when you don’t know exactly when it’s time to wait or time to go. But as Solomon concluded, the best way to know is to remember our Creator God who righteously judges whether it be good or bad (Ecclesiastes 12). To know when to wait and when to go, seek wisdom from God (James 1:5). I’m a witness that He gives it freely!

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14 

 

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…