Tag Archive: That’s Today’s Single Focus


D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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Something Happens When You Pray by D.J. Martin

The other day, in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion at Normandy, a recording of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to and prayer with the nation aired. When I heard the words of this prayer it reminded me of the blind man standing on the side of the road, who after he heard Jesus was there, began shouting, “Jesus, Thou son of David, have mercy on me (Mark 10:47)!” The people tried to hush him but, the man desperately needed healing from Jesus so, the more they tried to quiet him, the more persistent and louder he got. The blind man kept calling His name until Jesus stopped and then had the man brought to Him. Jesus made his persistence worthwhile, for He granted his request and opened his blinded eyes. Now, not only could he hear Jesus, but he could also see Jesus.

The words of President Roosevelt’s prayer also reminded me of the desperate mother who cried out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of David; my daughter is severely demon possessed (Matthew 15:22).” Jesus acted as if He didn’t hear her. But, she persisted. Therefore, the disciples said to Him; “Send her away!” When He finally acknowledged her, Jesus told her that He would not help her because of her ethnicity. But, she persisted. Then, He insulted the mother. But, she persisted. Finally, Jesus complimented her undaunted faith and freed her daughter from demonic possession.

To emphasize that we ought always to pray and never give up, Jesus told the story of a widow who went to an ungodly judge. The widow asked the judge for justice against her adversary. He refused, but she kept asking. She was so relentless that the judge grew weary of the widow’s constant approaching him with the same request. Therefore, because of her persistence, he granted her request (Luke 18:1-5). Then, Jesus said to them;

 And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? tell you that He will avenge them speedily… Luke 18:7

The Allied Forces fought against the vicious physical and spiritual forces of evil. Though many were overcome with wounds and death, the Allied Forces were persistent and eventually victorious. Life, liberty, and righteousness were well worth fighting for. Their valiant persistence resulted in setting captives free and deliverance of nations from tyranny. There are times when individuals face their own personal battles confronting physical and spiritual forces of evil.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places… Wherefore put on the whole armor of God… Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance…” Ephesians 6:12-18

As the Allied Forces, the blind man, and the desperate mother; and Jesus encouraged, be persistent in prayer. Pray without ceasing. We must continually call on the name of “Jesus, son of David.” Don’t allow the strength of the evil, the length of the journey, and the difficulty of the battle to discourage. Let the desperate desire for overcoming, for healing, for deliverance, for righteousness, for freedom, and faith in Christ’s ability determine our persistence. Never give up, because “Jesus, the son David,” is able. We must pray until Jesus stops, hears our cry, has mercy on us, and rewards our undaunted faith.

“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. 

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. 

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won.” 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“Pray without ceasing.” 1Thessalonians 5:17

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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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®)

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…

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

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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

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