The Ballestero Blog

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Faithfulness

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 22, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Why We Fight

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Why We Fight!

 

The US Military showed films in Basic Training during World War II to explain to all the new recruits the purpose of defending America to keep it free and what would happen to us if we didn’t fight. The old 16mm film was also called “Why We Fight.” The church is at war with the enemy of our soul. There are attacks on every side. Here are some of the reasons why the church must fight sin, worldliness and our own flesh.

 

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Fight Back!!

Fight Back!!

Fight Back!!

 

 

 

Identity Crisis

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Identity Crisis

Are You Who People Think You Are?

How Does Your Attire Identity You?

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 16, 2015 at 11:15 am

Posted in Christian Living, Holiness

Tagged with

The High Cost Of Mercy

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The High Cost Of Mercy

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

  • Extending mercy to others will not be cheap.
  • Not extending mercy to others will even cost more.

Mercy is one of the most expensive commodities in the world. A monetary value cannot be placed upon it. And yet, neither can the rewards of being merciful be measured.

 

Calvary Was About Our Mercy And Forgiveness.

 

Jesus Paid For Us To Have Mercy With The Silver Of His Tears And The Gold Of His Blood.

  • He paid the ultimate price. His life.
  • Visibly, all we have to give are our words, and our hand.

 

It Is Expensive To Forgive

  • It costs some their pride.
  • It costs some their insistence on being right.
  • It costs some their superiority feeling.
  • It costs some the sympathy that goes with being the injured party.
  • It may even cost all of your emotion and tears.

 

Mercy Is Not Cheap

  • Some are too hard-hearted to be merciful.
  • Some are too proud to say, “I forgive you.”
  • Some choose to hold a grudge like it is money in their emotional bank account.
  • Some refuse to pay the price for peace and harmony.
  • Some cannot see the bigger picture; they only see their hurt.

 

How Much Would Showing Mercy Cost You?

How Much Would Not Showing Mercy Cost You?

 

Being Merciful Doesn’t Make The Other Person Right.

  • Being merciful doesn’t justify their wrong.
  • Being merciful doesn’t save them.
  • Being merciful doesn’t mean they deserve mercy.
  • Being merciful not only brings peace, but God’s mercy and forgiveness into your life.
  • You cannot afford to withhold merciful.
  • You will curse your own soul.
  • You cannot afford to not pay the price mercy demands.

 

In The Old Testament, Mercy Demanded A Sacrifice. It Still Does!

  • Mercy required a lamb.
  • Mercy required a bullock.
  • Mercy required a heifer.
  • Mercy required a turtle dove.

 

Back Then… The Cost Of Gods Mercy Was An Animal Sacrifice.

Today The Cost Of God’s Mercy Is You Sacrificing Yourself In Repentance.

  • Today, you are the sacrifice.
  • Today, your pride is the sacrifice.
  • Today, your will is the sacrifice.

 

The Unmerciful Servant

Matthew 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

Matthew 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

Matthew 18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

(Evidently God can take back the forgiveness He once gave you, if you are unforgiving to others.)

 

Showing Mercy Is A Sign Of Strength, Not Weakness.

  • It takes strength to say:
  • “I forgive you.”
  • “Let’s put this behind us and go on.”
  • “Let’s start all over.”
  • “I love you.”

 

Extending Forgiveness Is An Act So Important That Heaven Keeps Track.

Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

The last thing any of us want or need is for God to refuse to show us mercy. There is a direct connection between the mercy we show and God showing us mercy.

 

God Removes His Forgiveness From Your Life, When You Do Not Forgive.

  • The price of mercy is always high.
  • The price of not showing mercy is so much higher.

 

What Is Gained By Being Merciful?

  • Favor with God.
  • Favor with man.
  • Peace
  • God’s blessing.
  • God’s mercy.
  • Forgiveness is God’s greatest blessing. Don’t throw it away.

 

What Is Lost When Mercy Is Not Shown?

  • Your personal forgiveness from God.
  • Your home in heaven.
  • Showing mercy to others is so important to God that your whole eternity is affected by your lack of forgiveness.
  • I find no Bible to support the belief that one can be saved and be unforgiving as well.
  • The extremely high cost of unforgiveness is prohibitive.

 

Showing Mercy

  • Showing mercy puts marriages back together.
  • Showing mercy puts families back together.
  • Showing mercy brings churches a much-needed healing and revival.
  • Showing mercy restores damaged relationships.
  • Showing mercy displays Christ’s Spirit in us.

 

Are You Willing To Show Mercy In Spite Of What Has Happened?

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 5, 2015 at 10:35 am

Posted in Forgiveness, Mercy

Tagged with ,

You Look Beautiful!

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You Look Beautiful!

Those words are welcome to most ears. But, if you are like me, don’t hold your breath waiting for someone to say it. It is a very nice compliment but it is not always believable. We may not feel very beautiful at that moment, but the sentiment is always enjoyed.

We humans call a lot of things beautiful. But, we must be pretty shallow to throw the term around so easily. We look at:

  • People
  • An old 57 Chevy
  • Sunsets
  • Puppies
  • Grandma’s old china
  • A poem
  • Every bride
  • An eight point buck
  • Red cowgirl boots
  • Every selfie on Facebook

…And say the word, beautiful.

Men say those words to and about women. Sometimes women even say them to other women. Before the words are said, a quick examination of the recipient’s hair, face, smile, attitude, body and clothes is given before offering such a compliment.

 

The Even Bible Mentions A Few Beautiful Women

  • Sarah was “a fair woman to look upon,”
  • Lot’s daughters Jemima, Kezia and Karenhappuch were called the fairest in the land.
  • Rachel, Jacob’s beloved was the first woman called beautiful in the Bible.

 

Beauty Products

According to jezebel.com over $38,600,000,000 is spent annually on cosmetics. (They also give a breakdown about the amounts of money that men and women spend each year and their low degree of happiness as a result.) It seems that most people are willing to spend a lot of money to have someone call them beautiful.

http://jezebel.com/5931654/americans-spend-billions-on-beauty-products-and-are-still-pretty-unhappy/

 

Why Not Choose To Have God Call You Beautiful?

Wouldn’t it be the ultimate compliment if God looked at us and said, “You look beautiful”?

What some folks think looks beautiful isn’t beautiful to God at all. He even uses the word abomination. For example, a woman wearing a man’s apparel doesn’t look beautiful to The Lord.

Carnal Pentecostal women have even been overheard telling their church sisters that they are out of style and that they dress like a grandma. They believe that to look beautiful, a lady should be current in her style of dress and wear clothes that showcase her anatomy more.

These people are called vain because they seek to be beautiful to the opposite sex and crave the attention and compliments of others. Since what we mortals call beautiful is not always what The Lord God calls beautiful. What then does God call beautiful?

I know His Word says that he made “everything beautiful in its time.” Our understanding of that broad statement is very limited at best because we see some things that do not appear beautiful to us. If we pay attention though, He does name some things that he calls beautiful.

 

God Calls The Church Beautiful.

Psalm 96:6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Song of Songs 6:10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

Beauty Tip # 1: Are you part of His church? Then you’re beautiful to God.

 

God Calls Preaching Beautiful.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Beauty Tip # 2: Don’t criticize what God calls beautiful!

 

God Calls Salvation Beautiful.

Psalm 149:4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

Beauty Tip # 3: If you have obeyed Acts 2:38 by repenting, being baptized by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ and have received the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance… Then God has made you beautiful.

 

God Calls Holiness Beautiful.

Psalm 96:9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

Psalm 29:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.

Beauty Tip # 4: If you live a modest and godly life of separation from the world then God looks at you and calls you beautiful.

 

God Calls Long Hair On A Woman Beautiful.

1 Corinthians 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

1 Corinthians 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Beauty Tip # 5: When women allow their hair to grow long and pray. God calls that beautiful.

 

God Calls Worship Beautiful.

Psalm 33:1 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

Psalm 147:1 Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

Beauty Tip # 6: When worshippers lift up His name in praise, God calls that beautiful.

 

God Calls Watching His Children Be The Blessed, Beautiful.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Beauty Tip # 7: When you are able to enjoy His blessings in daily life, God calls that beautiful.

 

You Want To Know What Is Really Beautiful To Me?

 

Jesus Is Beautiful to Me

Isaiah gave us an advance notice that something beautiful is about to happen when he prophesied about the coming Messiah.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The Word ‘Wonderful’ Is Another Synonym For Beautiful!

 

He Is Altogether Lovely

Song of Songs 5:16 … yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

 

Serving God Is Beautiful

(Copyright, Nelon Music Co. 1986)

 

Serving God is beautiful

Serving the King of Kings,

I serve Him because I love Him, you see,

Serving God is beautiful to me.

 

Serving God is beautiful

Serving the King of Kings,

I serve Him because I love Him, you see,

Serving God is beautiful to me.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

You Are A Committee Of One

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You Are A Committee Of One.

Webster’s Definition: Committee Of One

Noun

  1. An individual person designated to function alone as a committee.

 

Society teaches us that we are a committee of one and that each one of us must do the right thing.

 

The US Army

The Army recently scrapped its memorable advertising slogan, ”Be all you can be,” and replaced it with one intended to appeal to the individualism and independence of today’s youth: ”An Army of one.”

 

Smokey Bear

For many years public service announcements on the radio have showcased Smokey Bear saying, “Only You can prevent forest fires.” The meaning is clear. Everyone venturing into the forest is expected to handle fire responsibly.

Some things in life depend on just us. We are the bottom line. There is no one else to blame. We then must strive to be responsible.

 

“The Buck Stops Here”

Last year during a visit to President Harry Truman’s Library, I took note of his signature desktop motto. “The Buck Stops Here.” Seeing that one plaque was one of the more memorial highlights of the tour. The President made it plain, he wasn’t passing the buck, but will to stand up and face the challenge.

 

We Have Biblical Examples

  • Ester Was A Committee Of One When She Went Before The King.
  • Elijah On Mt. Carmel Was A Committee Of One.
  • David Was A Committee Of One Fighting Goliath’s.

 Staying In Church And Being Saved Is Up To You!

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

 

“Save Thyself,” Is Still The Message!!

  • Each one must want to be saved enough to make the effort.
  • The fact is most preachers want to see some folks saved more than they do.
  • If you are no longer saved today, you have no one to blame but yourself.

 You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Staying Saved.

 

Protecting Yourself From False Doctrine is Up To You.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Paul’s advice warned Timothy to:

  • Watch yourself
  • Be careful
  • Pay attention to your personal life
  • Pay attention to your doctrine
  • Your life depends on it
  • Others are looking at you to follow your steps
  • It’s up to you Timothy.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Spiritual Carefulness.

 

Holding On To This Apostolic Message, Is Your Responsibility.

The Apostles spoke to the church warning them to protect themselves from false doctrine.

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

2 Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  • Be careful what holiness and doctrinal arguments you listen to.
  • Smooth talkers will lead you astray from truth if you let them beguile you.
  • Some try to reason the Acts 2:38 truth and holiness standards away.
  • You cannot let them lead you into delusion.
  • False doctrine is just an “amen” away.
  • If you don’t know the truth, your soul is on the line.
  • You are an army of one in protecting your soul.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Resisting Error.

 

Being Ready For The Coming Of the Lord Is Up To You.

Matt. 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

  • The ‘watch ye’ is understood. It’s your job to watch.
  • Watch, Jesus is coming.
  • Watch, you have to get yourself ready, and be ready.
  • Watch, it’s up to you.
  • ‘Preppers’ prepare for potential national and end time disaster.
  • They believe survival is up to them individually.
  • Some are preparing more for government failure and stockpiling for the tribulation than they are preparing their hearts for the coming of the Lord.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Being Ready For The Lord’s Return.

 

Getting Past Grudges And Hurts Is Up To You.

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

  • How long will you let this battle go one?
  • You hold the key to the door of Peace.
  • If you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you.
  • It’s your call.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Forgiving Others.

 

Restoration Is Your Duty.

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

  • Don’t be foolish and act too holy to love and restore the fallen.
  • Restoration is your duty.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Restoration

 

Worship Is Your Job

Psalms 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

  • Worship Is Everybody’s Business
  • How can anyone be so spiritual clueless as to feel comfortable letting others do the praising for them?
  • Don’t let worship leader or praise team do the worshipping for you. It’s your job to praise the Lord.
  • Worship is everybody’s business
  • Don’t let the same old six or seven lead out in worship. You do it.
  • Let everything that has breath… It’s up to you.

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Worship.

 

You Are A Committee Of One In The Prayer Room.

James 5:16 … The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

  • Your prayer is powerful.
  • Your prayer can flip the switch the kills the power of the enemy.
  • Your prayer is the bottom line of spiritual defense.
  • We fight the evil on our knees.
  • The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Prayer.

 

Being A Witness Is Your Job Too.

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

You Are A Committee Of One When It Comes To Soul Winning.

 

The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral (Anniversary Re-post)

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December 2014 celebrates the fifth birthday of The Ballestero Blog. I personally wish to thank each one of my readers. In memory of this anniversary, popular posts will be showcased from each year. This one is from September 2011:

 

The Pentecostals At The Church Of Christ Funeral

The funeral chapel was jammed with about 30 Pentecostals and nearly 100 Church of Christ members.  Evidently this funeral was considered important. Six Church of Christ ministers were in attendance and each one spoke. No Pentecostal preacher had been invited to speak; yet several of us came anyway. I sat close to the back with my brother-in-law Pastor Nathan Yandris and my sister Ramona.

The large framed picture sitting on the closed casket was one of a beautiful middle-aged woman named Phyllis. She had a look of professionalism and class about her. Her brown hair was cut shoulder length. It appeared her make up had been professionally applied for the photo, and her jewelry looked very expensive.

The front row contained a grieving husband and beside him, his redheaded son and daughter-in-law. The son appeared to be the only child. No others sat near, leaving the guests to assume the mourners were alone in this crowd.

The Church of Christ preachers spoke one by one, and each said comforting things that I am sure helped. The final speaker did a superb job, actually. One could tell this was not his first funeral.

At the conclusion of his homily, the minister announced, “It is the wishes of the family that those who wish to say a few words about our beloved sister, should have an opportunity to say a public goodbye. He then walked to the front row and sat down.

One at a time, six middle-aged women walked to the podium and spoke sweet words about the loss of their friend. All of them mentioned that they had met Phyllis at either AA or Al-Anon.

They spoke of her friendship, of her church activities, her help with their lives, and her struggle with addictions and theirs.

After the last one sat down, there was a moment of quietness as all waited for someone else to stand. No one did.

Turning around and giving the crowd a swift appraising look, the redheaded son clutched a new Bible as he stepped to the small podium. His 25 years seemed much older. He was poised. He held the Bible in his left hand up close to his heart.

With a voice that never broke, he thanked everyone for coming. He thanked the ministers that spoke and he thanked his mother’s pastor as well.

With a smile to the women who had come to the front to speak, he thanked them as cherished friends.

That is where his story began!

“Almost 6 weeks ago, I first heard that my mom had cancer.  The doctor said that it was terminal and inoperable. I was shattered. Then they said she only had a few days to live. I was an immediate basket case.

“My mom was young, she was beautiful too,” He said, pointing at her picture.

“I went home that night and sat on my front porch. I was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, and was crying my heart out, when this man saw me and stopped.” (He pointed at a large black man on the 2nd row.) “He asked me if I was alright? I told him no.

“When he came up to the porch I told him the news about my mom. He spoke comforting words to me and asked if he could pray for me. I said yes and he did. I felt something I had never felt before.

“Then he sat down beside me and taught me what he called a short Home Bible Study. He showed me about Acts 2:38. He said that I needed to repent, and get baptized in Jesus name and that the Lord would give me the Holy Ghost. He said that Jesus would be my comforter.

“I prayed right there on my porch and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins. I told him I wanted to be baptized the Bible way, so he took me to his church, Apostolic Tabernacle, and the pastor came over and baptized me in Jesus name. When I came up out of the water, I was speaking in tongues. I got the Holy Ghost just like they did in the Bible!” He said, as he raised and then waved his Bible.

The Pentecostals responded with much noise and many of us stood and clapped our hands. The Church of Christ crowd went silent.

“I was thrilled! I had never been so happy in my life! That night I prayed that God would help me to share this with my mom. I knew she had to have this before she died.

“I prayed that God would help me find a way to speak to her. I knew she was wrapped up in her Church. She had been a lifetime member, and had always been involved in one department or another.

“The first thing the next morning, I prayed before I went over to mom’s house. When I got there, I was surprised to see a Bible lying open on the kitchen table.”

“I asked mom what the Bible was there for, and she said that she was close to dying and didn’t feel saved. She said she was looking for more than what she had.

“I said mom, you been a member of the Church of Christ for 45 years.”

She said, “That’s right, but I’m not ready to meet God. I need more!”

(He turned to the Church of Christ pastor and said, “Sorry sir!”)

The redheaded new convert was filled with Holy Ghost enthusiasm as he told his story. His eyes were red rimmed and watering.

I said, “Mom, let me tell you what had happened to me last night. I told her the whole story. About the beer, the Bible study, the baptism and the Holy Ghost.

“Mom started crying and said son, ‘Tell me what he told you.’

I sat down with her and showed her the same scriptures in Acts that my new friend had told me.

“She got down and began to repent like the Bible said to. When she finished, she said that she couldn’t leave the house to go to church. She was too weak and was attached to an oxygen tank.

“Mom said, maybe we could fill her big Jacuzzi tub up and baptize her in that. Dad helped me and I baptized my mom in Jesus name. She came up out of the water speaking in tongues just like I did. I was so happy, I shouted all over the room.”

(All of us Pentecostals are now on our feet, with our hands in the air, worshipping!)

“My dad said, ‘Baptize me too!’ So I did and he got the Holy Ghost too”

“I sure did,” came a strong voiced reply from the front row. The dad had his hand in the air.

The Pentecostal’s worship was so overwhelming that even some of the church of Christ people started crying by now.

They all knew that a man with an experience is never at the mercies of a man with an argument.

The worship of the small group of saints roared in the ears of opposition. For several minutes it went on. It felt unstoppable.

“All of you Church of Christ members need this Holy Ghost, he went on. “It will do for you what AA can’t. It will do for you what Al-Anon can’t. You need to be baptized in Jesus name to be saved. You need the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues to be saved. If you want to see my mom in heaven, then obey Acts 2:38.

When he walked back to his place, the crowd stood and gave him a standing ovation.

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 11, 2014 at 6:46 am

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