Tag Archive: Apostle Paul


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…

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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…

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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.