YES, Is The Answer. Now, What Is The Question?
A fast food chain currently uses this for a slogan. It’s nothing new, really. Actually it’s been around for thousands of years. God’s blessed people have always lived with this mindset.
The willingness to do whatever God requests is a trait that will not only save and bless us, but also keep us saved and blessed. Most Pentecostals are familiar with the words of the song that says, “Yes Lord. Yes Lord. From the bottom of my heart to the depths of my soul, Yes Lord…”
Remember singing that song and feeling the sweet presence of the Lord sweep over you? Remember too the old-timers singing, “Is Your All On The Altar?”
There’s a reason for that. A very good reason. God blesses willingness and submission.
Ezra And The Willing People
Neh 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.
- Notice the spirit of unity. They gathered as one.
- They requested that the scribe Ezra bring the book of the law and read it to them.
- They wanted to hear the law.
Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
- Everyone old enough to understand came.
- Ezra read from morning until midday
Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
Neh 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
- Ezra opened the book.
- The people stood up in reverence.
- Ezra blessed the Lord
- The People raised their hands and said, Amen, Amen
- They said Amen before the law was read.
- Then the bowed their heads to the ground and worshipped.
They Were So Hungry To Hear The Word Of The Lord That They All Said Amen Before They Heard What The Law Told Them To Do.
It’s not uncommon to see new converts who have experienced the joys of repentance, baptism in Jesus Name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues ask the pastor, “Now, tell me what I need to do.”
Remember Praying Like This?
- I’ll do what you want me to do.
- I say what you want me to say.
- I’ll go where you want me to go.
- I’ll be what you want me to be.
Most young people in my generation never knew it was OK to say no at church. When we were asked to do something like,
- Teach a Sunday School Class,
- Sing a special song,
- Play an instrument,
- Go on visitation,
- Clean the church
- Give a sermonette
- Or whatever,
We just said knew ahead of time that we would say yes.
Mary the mother of Jesus even told the servants at the Wedding in Cana, that whatever Jesus asked them to do, do it.
Little Samuel had the willingness to do whatever was requested and ran to do the bidding of Eli not knowing that it was the Lord speaking to him.
Rebecca was so willing to serve the stranger with camels that she not only offered to water them but also ran to do her duty.
God has always looked for willingness in his people. Those who choose to say no to Him, don’t seem to last long or be used in His Kingdom.
How Did The Spirit Of Questioning Everything Get Into The Church?
- Some read the scripture and say they are not convicted.
- Some read the scriptures and say they do not apply to us.
- Some hear preaching and are not receptive at all.
- Others choose to read only scriptures that speak of blessings and miracles.
- They reject anything that looks like doctrine
- They say no to the word holiness.
- They refuse to separate themselves from the world.
God’s First Principle Of Blessing And Growth
Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Israel Wouldn’t Go Over Into The Promised Land
Deut 1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
- A whole generation died.
Because You Would Not Be Obedient
Deut 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
Deut 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
Deut 8:20 As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.
Jerusalem Said No To The Messiah
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Israel Said No To The Spiritual Rest
Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
What Makes Some Say No?
Before You Say No To Anything God Asks…
- Ask yourself,
- How does rebellion start?
- What is rebellion?
- Does God view my spirit as rebellious?
- Am I rebellious?
- How do I change?
Changing From Rebellion To Submission Should Be Easy.
- It’s a one-word change.
- What once was a No… change it to a Yes.
Are You Brave Enough To Say, “No” To God?
You are free to choose how you wish to respond to God’s call, His wishes and His Word.
But as for me…
YES, Is My Answer. Now, What Is The Question?
Deut 10:12 … what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
If My Grandma Was Your Pastor…
I had the best Grandma a boy could ever want. I loved her and cherish her sweet and godly memory. She raised a family of eight children through the depression years. All eight have since died in the faith, full of the Holy Ghost. Our huge family has been left with a rich example and a wonderful heritage. Thanks Grandma!
I can find no fault in my sweet Grandma, nor do I wish you to. In her day and time, she did what she had to do to survive. That being said, I will tell this Grandma story.
(If she could read this I know she would be embarrassed and maybe mortified. I should be ashamed for mentioning it.)
The Bad Apples
“Marty honey, I want you to go downstairs into the basement and on the right side, at the bottom of the stairs, you will see two bushels of apples. One bushel has red apples and the other one has yellow ones. Look through both bushels and find all the apples that have bruises, or soft spots. Get all the rotten ones and bring them all upstairs to me. If we don’t get them out soon, they will make the good ones get rotten too.”
Grandma Gleason said that as she handed me a pan whose size was sufficient for the task. As a Kindergarten student I had never been entrusted with such a huge responsibility as protector of the apples. I went down into the dark cellar and immediately found the bushels and knelt beside them on the floor.
I picked up each apple and looked it over carefully, squeezing just enough to test for any softness. About five minutes later I came upstairs with a couple dozen apples and proudly gave them to Grandma. Parts of the apples somehow disappeared into the evening supper disguised in a salad or a desert.
The downside of this is that while at my Grandma’s house, I never got to eat a fresh ripe apple. Not even once. She seemed only to be focused on taking care of the bad apples. It never occurred to me to pick up a good one and bite into it, and enjoy its succulence. I was programmed to look for the bad and not the good.
Over the years I have wondered why I didn’t just sneak a good apple out of the bushel. Maybe it was the fear of taking something without asking, or knowing there were many mouths to feed. I really don’t know now, but the bottom line is I didn’t ever get a taste of a good one.
Memory Talks To Me About This
This childhood story maybe could have been forgotten and died within me. But, over the years, that memory has walked down the hallway of my mind again and again and sat down beside me for a quiet chat. It happened once more this morning.
When memory quit talking to me today, my mind wandered over to the parenting and minister side of me. Have I spent my life focusing only on culling the bad apples to keep the others from spoiling and done so to my own hurt and the hurt of those around me?
How sad for me if I only fixated on removing sin’s negative things, and missed out on the pleasure of enjoying all of God’s good things.
Absolutely, wrong behavior must be dealt within the home and the House of God. But, in the process of running a good tight ship, it’s an added blessing if all those around you find it easy to smile and laugh and are happy. Worldliness will destroy a church, but so will religious fanaticism.
There Must Always Be Balance, Both In Pastoring And Parenting.
As parents we can stay so long in the corrective mode that our children live without much joy and happiness. It has happened. Some children can’t wait to leave home. My parents were very loving and yet we knew to be careful. When we were corrected, sometimes Mom cried with us. She could then sit down and play table games with us and laugh with us.
Preachers must never stop preaching against sin, compromise or worldliness. When we recognize the spirit of Laodicea or a Charismatic attitude we need to cull that from the bushel. We must readily defend this Apostolic message to our dying day.
In the process of preaching and enforcing holiness, and culling every bad apple of doctrine from the bushel, the saints need to be able to enjoy the taste found only in the bite of a good apple, once in a while. On the other hand, we all know that if we just eat the good ones, and never remove the bad, soon the whole bushel will be garbage. There must be a balance.
As an old former pastor and a preacher that has been put out to pasture, I can only hope that there were times when I let my hearers savor the sweetness of the Gospel. Everyone needs to experience what King David was enjoying when he said, ‘Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!”
If Grandma was your pastor and she ran your church like she did her home, the bad apples would always be culled and dealt with. Yet, in the process, there may not be any fresh ones left out on the table for anyone to enjoy.
As sweet as she was, be glad Grandma was not your pastor!
She Still Calls Me Honey
A Tribute To Marcia June Starr Ballestero
Who Has Been My Loving And Romantic Wife For Fifty Years.
No man has ever deserved a love so sweet as hers. Fifty years ago, Honey, was the first sweet name she called me when we fell in love, it’s what she still calls me now. I was very thrilled then and today I still am.
It started from the beginning when we both told each other, “I Love You!” Somehow, before the conversation was over, my new name became, Honey. It was just that easy for her!
- It was exhilarating to know I was a Honey to the girl I loved most!
- I felt cherished. I felt wonderful. I wanted to boast!
I’d never been anyone’s Honey before. I started walking around with that new Honey–feeling and it created a tingling in my heart. I felt different. I acted different. I was different. I was her Honey!
For fifty years or so, whenever I’ve heard that name called in a crowd, I immediately turn because I know it must be me being called. After all, I now am the man named, Honey.
- If I were a cowboy, the name wouldn’t have fit.
- Had I been a Marine, I would have suffered a bit.
How does one become a Honey?
How did I become a Honey in her eyes?
By the way, what is actually the definition of someone who is a Honey?
Webster says that a Honey is “a person for whom one feels love or deep affection; a sweetheart, a darling.
Honey is an affectionate term of address to a romantic partner, lover, or sweetheart.”
“Something sweet, delicious, or delightful.”
“An affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or romantic partner.”
“To call someone Honey is to talk flatteringly or endearingly to.”
By calling me Honey…
- She is calling me her Sweetheart.
- She is saying I am her Dear.
- She is confessing I am her Lover.
- She is bragging that her Heart belongs only to me.
- That my Heart belongs only to her.
Even though by now she knows how imperfect I really am, she still calls me Honey. There have been days when lemon or persimmon would have described me much better, but she still called me Honey.
- “Honey,” I like that better than… “The Old Man,” or “Dodo.”
- It sure feels much nicer than… “Quail Head” or “Bozo”
Oh yes, when our babies were little, for their sake, she also added the name of Daddy in her vocabulary when they were in the room.
But now, even though our children are grown it is still the same. In our private moments, when she could call me whatever she really thinks of me, she still calls me Honey.
- When I am upset or stressed, my name is still Honey.
- When I have no money, my name is still Honey.
I have no memory of her ever starting a fuss. Yet, even when I was out of sorts, or out of line she still called me Honey.
- When I’ve embarrassed her and myself, she still called me Honey.
- When I needed to be put in timeout, she still called me Honey.
- When I had zits on my face too horrible to kiss, she still called me Honey.
- When I lost my hair, she still called me Honey.
- When I didn’t preach well at all, after church she still called me Honey.
- When some old friends criticized me and walked away, she stood by me and called me Honey.
She seldom ever calls me by the name my parents gave me. I’m always Honey to her. What makes her use that word? What have I done to deserve such a sweet name? Even when I’ve wrong, she still calls me Honey.
- How do you get mad a girl who calls you Honey and means it?
- How do you not respond sweetly to her words of endearment?
When I wake up, she says, “Good morning Honey!”
When I walk in the door she welcomes me home with, “Hi Honey.”
The sweetest words I can ever hope hear when answering my phone is, “Hi Honey!”
- It still fires up my furnace and turns all the lights on in my heart!
- I can still hear the Love oozing in her voice!
- I can still see the Love radiating in her eyes!
- I can still sense Romance as it walks into the room!
- She doesn’t throw that word around like a waitress in some cheap diner.
- She saved that word for only me, the one she chose to walk beside her.
Some say when a wife uses the word Honey that it soon becomes expensive for the man because some time and labor will certainly be involved. But, there have been no Honey–Do-Lists drawn up for me by her. I draw them up myself.
The things I do for her are the things I get to do for her as my way of showing appreciation and saying thank you for calling me Honey.
- She says it like she means it with her voice so soft and sweet.
- It’s the word romance is made of, there’s nothing that can compete
When she says Honey, she means it. She says in a way that:
- Softens the harshness of life
- Melts the feeling of pain
- Creates a spontaneous smile
- Nurtures the weariness
- Embraces the hurts
- And Comforts the soul
I have stood on the platform before huge crowds and referred to her publicly as “Sugar Booger.” Some people smile and shake their heads because they are embarrassed for my wife. There are many thousands and more who only know her by that name.
She has never bristled or looked embarrassed in public when I spoke those words. She knows that is not the name I use when we talk. When we are together and I am looking at her it only makes me think of words gentle, loving, soft and sweet, so I try to say them.
- There is nothing harsh about her.
- She doesn’t speak unkind words.
- She doesn’t ever nag.
- She never starts fights.
- Her touch is soft and gentle; her words are just the same.
- I am blessed to be around her and hear her call my name.
At this major marriage milestone of fifty years and counting, my bragging rights are still securely in place.
My special name is sealed forever in her heart and mine. I am the man she calls Honey… and I absolutely love it! I wouldn’t change it for the world!
She has spent fifty years calling me by the sweetness name she could think of. Her wondrous love for me could never be matched.
- So as your Honey, I thank you from the depths of my soul.
- Your love has nourished me and made me feel whole.
No man could have been made to feel his wife’s love than I.
No man ever deserved a love so sweet as yours.
No man could be happier with his marriage than I am.
Thank You, My Darling Marcia June Ballestero, For Loving Me Totally Without Restriction Or Reservation!
You’ve Made Fifty Years Of Loving You And Being Married Seem Like Just A Few Days…
And By God’s Mercy, It’s Not Over Yet. Because…
When We Get To Heaven And Start Looking For Each Other, The First Words I Want To Hear From Another Mortal Is You Saying,
I Truly Love You,
Marty, (Your Honey)
I Love You But I Just Don’t Want To Talk To You!
I Love You But I Just Don’t Want To Talk To You!
I really do love you though.
I wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings in anyway.
I absolutely cherish you.
I’m fearful that I am hurting you by saying this.
I know what you’re going to say.
You’re going to remind me of all the nice things you’ve done for me.
You’ll probably ignore me and go talk to other people.
I enjoy listening to you talk to me, but it’s hard for me to talk to you.
I know it sounds crazy.
I love everything about you.
I never want to leave you.
I would never leave you for anyone else.
You are my world.
I enjoy being with you.
I want to be wherever you are.
I want you to love me.
I love you.
I tell my friends how wonderful you are.
I’m indebted to you I know.
I will never forget the first day we met.
My life has changed because of you.
I don’t want to live in this world without by my side.
I want you to know I love you.
I’m coming over to your house tonight at 7:30pm.
I won’t make it in time for pre-service prayer tonight.
You know I love you, but I really don’t want to talk to you.
“Who Are You To Judge Me?”
How many times have we heard someone say that, whether it was directed to us or to someone else? It’s easy for most of us to get offended when others express disapproval of our actions.
By nature, most of us are very private. We resent outsiders intruding uninvited into our personal lives. We automatically throw up a defensive barrier. Somewhere in all of us there is a storage room that houses cryptic phrases designed for rebuttal and justification. We quickly grab one and use it with the hopes of silencing our accuser. Sometimes, it works.
Most church members and ex-church member alike consider the act of judging a grievous fault. So, since most of us have been judged at one time or another, let us look at the subject of judging others.
As citizens, we are used to being judged every day on our skills, behavior, and performance.
Judgment Is Common In Every Day Society
- Television shows, such as American Idol, judge contestants on their ability to sing and perform.
- At the County Fair, someone will judge which pie is the best.
- There are judges at dog shows, and the dollar value of someone’s beloved pet may be at their mercy.
- When a prospective new driver turns 16 years old, his or her driving ability is judged. Someone must determine if they should be issued a driver’s license.
- To be promoted to the next grade and even graduate, a teacher must determine the student’s academic ability.
- To become a licensed minister in an organization. An applicant’s worthiness is determined when he appears before a licensing board.
- Every new pastor that is voted on by the church has his qualifications judged by the congregation’s yes or no vote. The same holds true for politicians.
- The Bank Officer judges the applicants credit rating and payment history before loaning any money.
- The Miss America beauty pageant uses Judges to determine who should represent the U.S.A.
- There are multitudes of judges for every Olympic event.
- The gardener judges whether or not the tree’s branches need pruned, or if the tomatoes need watered.
- Someone will be a judge over who gets custody of the child, and who gets what, in the divorce settlement.
- The Traffic Cop judges whether or not you should be pulled over and cited.
- Every employee knows the meaning of a “Performance Review.” Someone must sit on the other side of the desk and judge the employees worthiness.
- Actually, everyone that wants the bragging rights of being the best, the fastest, or the most gifted, must first meet the judge.
We seem to be comfortable with the idea of being judged according to our fleshly activities. We understand that no one receives approval without a judgment of some kind. However, it’s man’s judgment of our spiritual pursuits, or lack thereof, that brings the fire into our reactions.
1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.
You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? I Understand. Let’s Look At The Subject Of Judging In The Bible.
Is it true that Christians are told not to judge? The surprise answer is no. In fact, according to Scripture those who do not judge are more likely to be led astray by false doctrines and are less than effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Most People Who Cite The Lord’s “Command” Not To Judge, Use Following Quotation:
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
To Whom Were These Words Spoken?
This whole passage is addressed to the religious hypocrites of the day. Jesus warned these self-righteous people who criticized others, but were guilty of the same things… or worse.
You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? As Much As Our Flesh Doesn’t Like It, Church Members Must Make Judgments.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
- False prophets are to be recognized (judged) by their fruits.
Should Christians Judge Each Other? Absolutely!
The Lord is pleased with those that judge righteously.
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Some Lukewarm Church Members Feel That A Preacher Should Not Be Their Judge.
I would point them the Lord’s instruction to the Priest Joshua.
Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
Remember John The Baptist saying:
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.
Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
- John had guts enough to tell King Herod that he was wrong, that he was living with his brother’s wife. Herod had John thrown in prison and finally beheaded. John was not afraid to make a righteous judgment.
The Prophet Nathan Looked King David In The Eye And Judged Him.
2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
There Has Always Been Resentment In The Congregation Against Messages That Judge.
Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
- Even in the days of Isaiah, men wanted to be left alone by the man of God. They only were willing to hear smooth preaching. Not much has changed. They wanted to do what ever their conscience allowed them to do.
Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
- Without accountability, even the people of God sink to this level. The shocking news for our flesh is that what is right in our eyes may not be right in God’s eyes. We all need help. We just need it in different areas.
What About Discernment Of Spirits?
1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
- This is a gift that God provided for His body, whereby Holy Ghost filled people may be able to determine what spirit another is manifesting. In a way, it’s like being able to see what’s on the inside of another person.
Try The Spirits. (Judge Them)
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
The Prophet learned about judging spirits the hard way. He found out quickly that God looked not only on the outside, like humans, but He looked especially at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
(Note: They that are spiritually wayward love to justify their carnal and maybe even sinful outward appearance by saying that God looks on the heart. (As if that were the only place He looks.) This passage strongly makes the point that God did not even like what he saw on the inside. Maybe the self-righteous should not use this verse as their defense.)
If You Don’t Want Anyone Judging You, Be Glad You Weren’t There When The Apostle Paul Preached.
Paul Judged Situations Publically Without Being Present.
- Case 1. Immorality
1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
- That person’s lifestyle resulted in the church judging them guilty and calling them by the name of their sin.
1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
- Case 2. Church Factions During The Lord’s Supper
1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
- Paul Openly Judged Sensitive Situations.
Judgment Is Required Of All Spiritual People.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
(The Message) 1 Corinthians 2:15 Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.
Spirit Filled Saints Are To Judge All Things.
Godly Spirit-filled saints are required to judge all things. Judge spirits? Yes! Judge things as well? Absolutely!
We Are To Judge All Things By God’s Standard Of Judgment. Things Such As:
- Life Situations
- Internet Activities
- Hollywood Presentations
- False Doctrines
- Styles of Dress
Just To Name A Few
(Note: EVERYONE that I have seen who re-evaluated their Holiness Standards or Convictions has not grown closer to God or resembled the Old-time Pentecostal lifestyle, but rather moved closer to looking and acting like the present world.)
The Apostles Judged A Situation Correctly And The Holy Ghost Confirmed It.
Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Paul Wasn’t Afraid To Have His Brethren Weigh His Words.
1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
You Dislike Being Judged? I Understand, But Even Prophets Are Subject To Being Judged.
Prophets Judge Other Prophets.
A Prophet’s reward is not money or fame. It is simply that his prophecy comes true. If the prophecy does not come true he is, by all standards of measurement, a false prophet.
1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
The Pastor Must Make Judgment Calls.
Some situations a Pastor has to deal with are not mentioned specifically by name in the Bible. So, he must make a judgment call, or a ruling. Hence, they that make good rulings are worthy of double honor.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
There’s No Doubt A Good Reason Why Some Make A Loud Noise About Not Wanting Anyone To Judge Them.
Maybe They Are In Rebellion And Don’t Want To Change.
- Because they are not doing right, and they do not want anyone reminding them.
- They know what they have been taught.
- They remember how they used to live.
- They chose to ignore the Word of God and the Pastor.
Maybe God Has Turned Them Over To A Delusion.
- They feel they are right and will debate you tirelessly in their attempt to justify themselves.
- They feel saved and content even though they have never been farther away from Truth.
- They wouldn’t love Truth, so God handpicked their delusion and gave them something they would love. Error.
A Humble Heart Will Repent When Judged And Correct The Error.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Preacher… Preach The Word. It Is God’s Plumb Line.
- Preach Without Fear or Favor.
- Be Not Afraid Of Their Faces.
- You Must Answer To God For What You Preached And Didn’t Preach.
- Preach It Even if It Affects Your Friends Or Family.
- Preach it Because It Is Truth.
Correction Must Be Given When The Actions Of A Saint Are Judged To Be Wrong.
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
If We Willingly Receive Correction and Instruction, We Show Evidence Of Being God’s Son.
Hebrews 12:5 … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
If You’re Still Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You…
- How Then Can Anyone Help You?
- You Don’t Want A Pastor.
- You Don’t Even Want A True Friend.
- You Choose To Do What You Want.
- No One Can Be Helped Without First Being Judged To Be In Need Of Help.
- Please Don’t Put Up A Wall Of Defense Any More When Your Life Is Judged To Be Not Pleasing Unto God.
Who Are You To Judge Me?
- A Tender Hearted Person Would Never Speak Those Words.
- Have You Become Unteachable?
- Are You Past Help?
- Have You Become Hard Hearted?
- Do You Want A Tender Heart?
- Do You Want To Be Saved?
- Then Start By Humbling Yourself And Submitting To God’s Word.
They Built A Monument To Their Problem.
The official website of Enterprise, AL ( http://www.enterpriseal.gov/#!history-of-enterprise/c6gw ) explains why there is a monument erected to what once was a problem.
Enterprise “was threatened in 1915 as the Mexican boll Weevil found its way into Alabama from Texas and wreaked havoc on the cotton crop. In Coffee County, almost 60 percent of the cotton production was destroyed. Farmers faced bankruptcy and the area economy was at stake. Farmers turned to peanuts and other crops to overcome the damage brought by the boll weevil.
“By 1917, Coffee County produced and harvested more peanuts than any other county in the nation. (In 1993, Coffee County ranked 4th in the state of Alabama with 128,000 acres planted in peanuts.) In gratitude for the lessons taught, residents erected the world’s only monument to an agricultural pest, the Boll Weevil.
“The monument, dedicated on December 11, 1919, stands in the center of the downtown district at the intersection of Main Street and College Street. The Boll Weevil Monument is a symbol of man’s willingness and ability to adjust to adversity. Citizens continue to remind visitors and newcomers to the city the lesson of the boll weevil. The base of the monument is inscribed:
“In profound appreciation of the boll weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity this monument was erected by the citizens of Enterprise, Coffee County, Alabama.”
Today the City of Enterprise is a beautiful and still growing town of over 27,750. Stores seem to be everywhere. The restaurants are wonderful. The people are friendly. Business is booming where once it was failing.
(And most important of all, they have a wonderful Apostolic Church at the corner of Hwy 84E and Coffee County Road, called New Life Pentecostal Church. My friend, Brother John Padgett, is the pastor.)
The first time I drove through the downtown area I was amazed to see the Boll Weevil Monument. The woman in the sculpture is holding the problem pest above her head with both of her arms fully extended. It is as if she is showing it off to the world. She appears to be saying, this once was the problem here, but it’s not anymore.
The South was horribly devastated by the little boll weevil. Cotton crops failed, farmers went bankrupt, and their farms were foreclosed on when the economy flat lined.
The people in Enterprise turned their lives and their city around when they changed from growing cotton to growing peanuts. Peanuts became a great blessing to the whole area and to America as well. They had to be pushed into their miracle recovery. They later erected a monument to the thing that made them change.
- The monument did not showcase the boll weevil as the reason why the people of Enterprise couldn’t succeed.
- It wasn’t erected because they were displaying their excuse for failure for the world to see.
- It was simple saying, “Here is what once was our problem. Here is the pest that pushed us to think different, to live different and as a result, to be successful.”
Building A Monument To A Problem Is Nothing New.
It Could Be Said The Lord Was The First One To Display A Such Monument.
He Put A Rainbow In The Sky
Gen 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Gen 9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
Gen 9:15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Gen 9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Gen 9:17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
After the flood God made a monument to remind them of their storm. A reminder that from now on, things would be different.
God Instructed Israel To Build A Monument To Their Problem.
They needed to cross over Jordan, into the Promised Land to inherit their promise, but there was a river in the way. No bridge, or any ferryboats were there to help them. This was a problem in need of a miracle. God always makes a way where there seems to be no way,
Joshua 4:2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
Joshua 4:3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
- Make your monument out of the middle of your problem.
- Take the makings of the monument home with you.
- Place it near where you sleep tonight.
Joshua 4:4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
Joshua 4:5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
Your Children Are Going To Ask You Later About Your Monument.
Joshua 4:6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
Joshua 4:7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
These stones declared, “There once was an obstacle in front of us that we couldn’t get over. But God made a way. We never want to forget.”
What About Your Problem?
- Are you still living with it, never changing?
- Are you still suffering because of it?
There Is A Lesson To Be Learned From The Humble People Of Enterprise.
- That they had a problem, they well knew.
- To quit and give up was not acceptable.
- To move away was not the solution.
- To change was their only answer.
- They changed and then they flourished
- What will you do with your problem?
- Will you let it make you fail?
- Will you let it make you change?
There Is A Lesson To Be Learned From Israel’s Twelve Stones
As long as there is life, there will be problems.
Before Israel went through the Jordan River into their New Life, God charged them ahead of time to gather twelve stones out of the riverbed to build their monument. He knew they would need their own monument as a reminder.
You Will Always Have To Face:
But while in the middle of your passing through the problem, don’t forget to gather the materials you’ll need to build your monument when it’s all over.
The Storm Painter
The painter of the storm had a mission. He had painted many a dark sky with thunderclouds before, but from a distance. He had painted the storms from the shore in the shelter of his studio where he was safe from all the elements of destruction. Today would be different. Artist Joseph Turner chose to view this storm outside his comfort zone.
He wished to paint what a storm looked like to him from the inside. This wasn’t to be just any April Showers moment. This storm would be a major blizzard, a rogue storm. Yet not just a bad snowstorm, but a snowstorm at sea. He wanted to view the storm from a boat while the waves threatened to sink his ship.
The seas were tumultuous, the waves high and rolling hard. There was no way he could stand on the deck and not slide off. He had to make a choice. He chose to be lashed to the mast of the ship for hours in the blinding freezing snowstorm. He wanted to paint it so real that on the canvass it would be hard to tell the sea from the sky.
‘Modern Painter’ website paid a huge compliment to Turner’s painting which he simply called Snowstorm.
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851
Modern Painters described the Snowstorm, as “…one of the very grandest statements of sea-motion, mist, and light, that has ever been put on canvas.“
Maybe We All Are Painters
While almost none of us make our living as a professional painter, we still know a bit about the storms of life. Many know what it’s like to be tied to the mast and feel the snow, the sea spray, to be slapped in the face with freezing winds and have no defense from the storm. Imagine what it’s like to tied:
- For hours with the snow beating your face.
- For hours in the howling wind.
- For hours with the ship struggling to survive the storm-tossed waves.
- For hours seeing life-threatening skies and seas.
- For hours in the bitter cold.
- For hours of being wet and miserable.
Maybe We’ll Never Paint A Portrait Of Surviving The Storm…
Until We Too Have Been Tied To:
- A Heart Attack
- A Bad Marriage
- Spousal Unfaithfulness
- Financial Devastation
- Lifelong Illness
Maybe We’ll Never Be Able To Paint A Portrait Of Bearing One Another’s Burdens…
Until We Too Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- Stormy Seas
- Overwhelming Disappointment
- Shattered dreams
- The Death Of A Child
- A Backslidden Spouse
- An Addicted Love One
We cannot accurately paint the storm for others to see until we have lived through one our self. Naysayers may try to find fault with our story. But we have been there. We somehow survived. We felt the mast rub on our back. The rope burns will be there for a while. We suffered hypothermia. Our body shivered with the freezing snowstorm.
We thought of those we knew sitting at home in their warm little world. They could not help us now. It was no longer just a storm. It had become our storm. We chose not to waste our storm but share it with others in the hopes they would be helped or blessed.
Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Revival…
Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- A Burden for souls
- A Prayer Room
Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of A Father’s Love…
Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- A Wayward Child
- Tearful Forgiveness
- Showing Mercy
- A Special Needs Child
- Unconditional Love
Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Deliverance From False Doctrine…
Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- False Doctrine
- Family Pressure
The Storms we survive should make us stronger.
The Storms we survive should be used to help others see.
The Storms we survive can later turn into a thing of beauty for us.
The Storms we survive are a gift from God.
(When we hear a testimony from someone who has survived a storm, it gives us all great hope!)
What Portrait Is Our Life Painting For Others To See?