Archive for May 2011
“This Bus Is Going To Chicago”
I often flew out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport when I lived in South Bend, Indiana. It was about 120 miles away. Many times it was cost-effective for me to take a shuttle bus from the South Bend Airport to the Chicago Airport rather than to drive to Chicago and pay parking.
My wife dropped me off at the Ground Transportation area in the South Bend terminal. I hurriedly picked up my reserved bus ticket.
The waiting area was large and comfortable. I sat where I could see the buses pull up. The bus line originally was called United Limo, and then it later merged with Tri-State Coach and Coach USA. Its company serves Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
I watched as buses with their destinations showing above their windshields began to arrive. I looked for the one that said ‘Chicago’. When it finally pulled up, it was in Lane 2.
I promptly stood up and waited for the announcement over the intercom that it was time to board.
When the bus departure was declared, I hustled outside and presented my suitcase to the Driver. His name tag said ‘Steve.’
“This bus is going to Chicago,” Steve said, verifying I was getting on the right bus.
“Yes sir,” I replied, “That’s where I’m going.
He stowed my suitcase underneath, punched my ticket and I climbed on board.
I settled down for the 2-hour ride to O’Hara. I saw a few others lay their seats back to relax. It looked like a good idea, so I joined them.
About 20 minutes later, I felt the bus swerve onto an off ramp. I curiously looked around wondering what the deal was. They told me this was the Chicago bus and this wasn’t Chicago.
I sat up and waited. The driver looped around behind an old service station/café building and stopped in the front. The air brakes hissed as the Driver announced, “LaPorte”
We sat there a few moments and several more passengers got on board. No one got off. In 5 minutes we were back on the highway again.
Another 20 minutes or so later we again turned off the big four lane and stopped in front of a motel. This time driver said, “Michigan City.” One got off, and one got on.
Once again we were rolling down the road. This time we were on I-94 west bound. We did good for a while, then the driver stopped again. This time, the name he said on the bus intercom was, “Portage.” Four more got on board. No one got off.
I wondered, how many more stops before we get there? I was not surprised when the bus turned off the road again and stopped at Griffith. No one got off there, but 7 or 8 got on board. The bus was pretty full.
The last hour of the ride was non-stop. We finally pulled up to the Bus Parking Area of the Airport’s lower level.
“Chicago,” Steve said. I stood up. I had made it to my destination. It wasn’t anything I did. It’s what I didn’t do that got me there. I didn’t get off the bus. I stayed on the bus.
I could have gotten off at any of the stops along the way, but I didn’t. That’s why I arrived at my destination. I just stayed on the bus.
I do not believe in individual predestination. I do believe in corporate predestination, however. The Word of God firmly declares, that His Church is predestined for Glory. All you have to do is stay on the bus and since the bus is predestined; you will go where it goes. Just don’t get off this bus.
Some may be tempted to get off the bus along life’s journey. You can if you want too, but you should know, this is the only bus going to Glory. Don’t get off. Someone else will take your seat if you do.
I don’t care who else gets off, or what the attraction or distraction is, just stay on the bus!
“This Bus Is Going To Chicago!”
Memorial Day 2011
Thank God for those who gave willingly of themselves for our country and for our freedom. Their memories are hollowed in our hearts because of their sacrifice. We will never be able to repay that debt. May their love for America never be forgotten.
My father, Carl J. Ballestero and my wife’s father, William R. Starr, both served during World War II. My uncles Stan and Wendell Gleason served as well. Today, my heart breathes a personal word of thanks to them especially.
My prayer is that God will continue to bless America.
There are some veterans of another war that I’d like to honor today too. They fought in a Spiritual War and in a Spirit filled Army. These men all preached to me. Some counseled me and redirected my focus. They fought against hell to save me. All in some measure have affected my life and my ministry and I honor them. May they all rest in peace. They will never be forgotten in my heart.
Starting first with my Father. My Father was also my pastor. He pastored 25 years and evangelized for 25 years. Everything I know and everything I am, I owe to God and to him. If you ever heard him preach, you never forgot what you felt and heard. He was truly a man of God. I miss him everyday. I am very proud to call him Dad.
My dear Father-In-Law, William R. Starr was a tremendous preacher and a giant among men. He was a wise leader of men, a church planter and revivalist. He not only worked a secular job, but was pastor of a large church and District Superintendent of Michigan for 28 years at the same time. A true Christian if I ever met one. He is greatly loved and sorely missed.
My uncles (My mother’s brothers) Two of the kindest and gentlest men in Pentecost. Both of them were great preachers.
I thank God for, and honor the memory of these men who helped mold my life and my ministry. They may have all died, but they live on in my heart.
Do You Love Your Doctor More Than You Love Your Pastor?
It seems like people love their doctor more than they love their pastor. There is a great disparity of respect in the hearts of society between the two. This is openly demonstrated in the way their advice is treated.
That was a sentiment shared with me in a recent conversation with my friend, Pastor Jerry Rowley Jr. I have taken great liberties attempting to expound on his comment.
The role of a doctor is greatly honored by our society. A doctor’s diagnosis and his orders are so respected that state laws support him. In extreme cases some states have been known to incarcerate individuals for their non-compliance to the doctor’s orders.
A pastor is greatly honored as well. The members of the congregation can choose to heed his advice. His words are sometimes received with suspicion or outright rejection. The following fictional scenarios may help describe the difference:
The new patient sat anxiously in the examination room while the doctor looked over the file holding all the test results. He made notations every now and then. Without a word, he picked up a thick book and thumbed back to the index. He located the reference he was looking for and made a few notations on the chart.
The doctor then asked a few pertinent questions, and checked the patient’s vital signs. He then turned and began to write several prescriptions.
The doctor folded the top cover back over the chart and in his best bedside manner broke the news to the patient and his spouse.
“As you know, your blood work came back and I didn’t like what I saw. So, that’s why I ordered the MRI. The bad news is, you have a mass that concerns me, it’s still contained, but if it is cancer and left untreated, it will be fatal.”
The patient then willingly goes through several months of chemo treatments. They endure more moments of pain and nausea than they wish to remember. They change their eating habits and strictly adhere to the diet the doctor gave them.
They also go back every week or so to the doctor’s office for checkups. The journey to recovery may be years. They will pay the cost and tolerate every inconvenience just to survive. They brag on their doctor and sing his praises when they go into remission.
The cost of the treatment: It varies, but sometimes runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The weekly office visits aren’t cheap either.
The Holistic Doctor looked at her patient. She told him that the cancer had spread. Her prescription was not written on paper, but she advised her patient to drink nothing but a mixture of carrot and asparagus juice. Eat no solid food, and drink only water and the carrot juice cocktail.
She then sells the patient an expensive juicing machine. The patient goes home and ingests nothing into his body but water and the prescribed juice for one year. Friends shake their heads at the patient’s willingness to follow through with the strict regimen.
Visits are made to the office to monitor his progress. After a year, the results are in. The patient is cancer free. He testifies openly and brags on the results. The diet worked.
The costs of the doctor’s visits weren’t cheap either. Even though the health insurance wouldn’t pay, he happily refinanced his house to pay for his recovery.
In both scenarios, the patient did whatever was asked of them, and willing paid for their costly treatment. They had no problem doing weekly or monthly follow-up visits. They love their doctors. They are healed.
Church Scene 1
The pastor sits in the office with a crying young man. He tells the pastor what has happened. He is ashamed.
The pastor had great hopes for him. He had shown so much potential. Now there’s much damage and others will be affected.
When the crying ends, the pastor prays with the man and then says, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to take you off the platform and set you down for a while. I want to help you recover yourself”
“How long will I be set down?”
“We’ll see. It depends on how you do. I want to see you in the prayer room before every service. I don’t want you having anything to do with the people we just talked about. I want to see some evidence of your repentance. You can recover. I will be here for you. Call me anytime if you need me or feel yourself getting weak again. I love you.
When the office visit is over, the pastor/saint relationship is over too. Rather than submit to the pastor’s prescription for recovery, and be set down for a while, the man changes churches.
The cost was nothing to the church member. The pastor gave of himself to no avail. The church lost money, a member and quite possibly, a soul.
Church Scene 2
The pastor stood behind the pulpit, his sermon had been impressed upon him in prayer. The Lord stirred his heart to preach against the things of the world that were in the church.
Signs of worldliness had shown itself here and there in the congregation. He preached the essentiality of Acts 2:38. He said when you get this Holy Ghost experience, your life changes. Your friends change. You dress holy. You don’t do the things you used to do. You no longer go to the places you used to go.
The lack of response from the audience loudly stated their reaction to the sermon. A few members looked sideways at their friends and family to catch their reaction. They mostly just looked at the preacher without visible reaction.
After service a few phone calls were made. A private meeting was set up. Then a formal meeting was arranged. The pastor was voted out.
The cost? Whatever it was, the people refused to pay it.
I am not talking about bad doctors or bad pastors. I am addressing how even good doctors and good pastors sometimes get treated differently.
There are many people alive today because they followed the good doctor’s advice. There are many people spiritually alive today because they followed the advice of their good man of God.
Thank God for every saint that loves his or her pastor enough to obey him.
You follow the advice of those you love.
Jesus said: John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Do You Love Your Doctor More Than You Love Your Pastor?
Throwing Rotten Electronic Eggs And Cyber Tomatoes
Some of us have lived long enough to remember moments of light persecution to some of our churches in America. I’m not talking about the level of persecution the early church experienced during the days of the apostles. I’m referring to basic hatred and expressions of animosity against the church seen in our lifetime. Maybe some of it was even done in ignorance, but some of it was not.
I have been in services where rotten eggs and tomatoes were thrown at the church building and cars. Brother Hoy Holcomb in Christ Temple Church in South Bend, Indiana got hit on the head with a big rock thrown through the window by neighborhood teens that hated Pentecost. It was bad and very bloody.
I preached a tent revival in Hemphill, Texas in 1964 and sinners came during the night and sprayed acid all over the canvas so that there was nothing but shreds of canvas hanging from the ropes. They had thrown tomatoes and eggs on the cars during the service as well.
Most all of us have heard stories of what Pentecostal pioneers went through in the last century. An encouraging note is that the work of Jesus Christ has always continued to thrive and grow under such persecution.
There are not too many current reports of attacks on the church anymore. Oh, occasionally some sinner kids spin their tires in the parking lots or do some other acts of stupidity. But by-in-large, Pentecostal worship is becoming more and more accepted by the outside world.
The people throwing them are not members of another denomination. The throwers are mainly Pentecostal backsliders and holiness rejecters. They throw them because they are mad. They evidently feel a need to trash truth so they can feel justified for leaving it.
They don’t want the Bible telling them how to live or dress, and they sure don’t want a man of God to preach or write anything that touches any area of their life.
They’ve refused to submit to the Word of God. They’ve refused to submit to the man of God. And many of the women have refused to submit to their own husbands.
These evidently are some of the silly women that got ‘led away captive’ that the Bible talks about in 2 Tim. 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
The electronic egg and cyber tomato throwers are the same people who once talked in tongues and dressed godly but have now been turned over to a reprobate mind. They no longer believe the Holy Ghost is necessary and they dress like they’ve never been inside of an Apostolic church in their life. They now throw cyber tomatoes at anyone who still lives what the Book requires.
They once were numbered with the holiness crowd, now they make mockery of all those that still walk holy and humbly before God. It’s unbelievable! They feel no shame, and they cannot blush.
These little modern-day Jezebel’s with painted faces get on their Facebook pages and rail on anyone else that calls their hand. They don’t have it in themselves to say anything to your face when they see you in person. They are only brave when the get in front of their computer screens at home.
They wish to appear to others as a spiritual giant of some kind. They are very sure they know more than their former pastor. They seem to think they know more about Bible interpretation than anyone else. Their comments make everyone think that they alone are right and everyone in the church they’ve left is wrong and unenlightened.
That’s when their true spirit surfaces. How dare any one tell them they are wrong! They reject anyone who calls a spade a spade. How dare a preacher say black is black, and white is white. How dare he say something is actually wrong. He is being mean when he calls sin a sin. He is harsh if he enforces a standard.
These cyber tomato throwers write about good movies they went to see. They try to give presents of jewelry to the folks still in church. They show off their bathing suits and slacks. They dye their hair purple and act like everyone else has a problem. They can’t cry and worship like they once did because it would smear their makeup.
They are proud of their new tattoos and want you to see them. They are not ashamed. They are proud of their deliverance from bondage, as they call it. The guys can’t wait to show off their new facial hair.
They make jabs at holiness every chance they get. If a young lady dresses godly, they call her a grandma.
One prayerful and modest dressing young woman I know was referred to as “Virgin Mary” because she didn’t wish to be included in their carnal activities.
I am tired of listening to their justifications. I don’t wish to debate with a deluded mind. The Bible says for me not to even eat with them and I won’t.
I can’t tell you that I have ever seen anyone go charismatic and come back repentant or get restored. I am not saying it can’t happen, I am saying I haven’t seen it. No wonder the Bible says, after the second admonition… reject.
Do you know who comments on these rotten egg thrower’s posts and then helps toss electronic eggs? Other backsliders. They won’t call themselves backsliders because they attend a church.
It’s a compromising church with a backslidden pastor that lets them live like they want and dress just like the world. They have a hireling for a pastor and they love it like that. But in their mind, it’s a church.
Their Facebook pages wouldn’t look any different if they were members of a Methodist or Presbyterian Church. What a sham and reproach! The sad thing is, they still feel saved. God has turned them over to a reprobate mind.
They are not content to just go away. They are not content to avoid holiness preachers in the mall. They are not content to be classified as truth rejecters. They have to turn around and throw their rotten cyber tomatoes at those that are still living a life separated unto Him. It helps them feel justified in doing what they are doing. It really makes them feel good.
What about all the folks that love to connect with these egg throwers? At General Conferences, some get real buddy-buddy with them. They wine and dine them. Some even connect with them on Facebook and send sweet messages back and forth. Their Inbox stays busy. But they are not the same people they were years ago.
You are not going to change them. They just might change you. Go ahead, laugh with them, chit-chat and watch as they continue to throw electronic eggs and cyber tomatoes at the good guys. You are setting your self up to be one of them if you are not careful. That spirit will get off on you if you keep hanging around them. Run, don’t walk. Get away from them. They are tools of Satan. You will be to, if you are not careful.
I’m afraid for some the final chapter of ‘throwing’ has not yet begun. If God’s Word is still true, He is going to do some throwing Himself in ‘that’ day when He throws some into a lake a fire.
2Pet. 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
2Pet. 2:10 but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
2Pet. 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
2Pet. 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2Pet. 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pet. 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2Pet. 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
2Pet. 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
2Pet. 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
Remember this when the electronic rotten eggs and the cyber tomatoes start flying. They haven’t rejected us as saints or as preachers, they have rejected Him. The horrible truth will be declared in the Judgment when they finally realize God has rejected them.
The Message Has Never Changed. It’s Still… Holiness Or Hell.
Making Melody In Your Heart
Eph. 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
This verse is among the Paul’s final words to the church family in Ephesus. It is cloistered sweetly amid his fatherly farewell.
Paul, in a later epistle admonishes the saints of Philippi to rejoice aloud unto the Lord all the days of our life.
Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord I: and again I say, Rejoice.
Paul promoted vocal worship in the house of God. But while writing to the good folks in Ephesus, he shows a side of himself, which is most revealing. Paul evidently made a melody in his heart even in his darkest moments.
In those few words, he wrote of the importance of singing on the inside. He encouraged all of us to have a song in our heart, and if there was no song, then to make a song. Make a melody in your heart.
This encouragement came from a man who had been through the worst events that hell could manufacture. But he didn’t stop singing. When he couldn’t sing on the outside, he was doing it on the inside.
- We knew him as a Missionary.
- We love him as a writer.
- We read about him as a preacher.
- But Paul the singer?
- Who knew?
Paul Kept Humming A Song.
2Cor. 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Cor. 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Paul Still Kept On Humming.
2Cor. 11:23… in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Cor. 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Cor. 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Cor. 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Cor. 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Cor. 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Paul Never Stopped Humming.
No matter what he had been through, he never allowed his circumstances to shut down his inner praise machine.
The story of Paul and Silas perfectly shows how quick Paul was to make melody in his heart unto the Lord. In spite of his pain, he sang.
Even though he had been beaten, his melody maker was still working. Even though he was falsely accused and imprisoned he had a melody going on in his heart.
- It was that melody that caused the earth to shake.
- It was that melody that caused all of the prisoner’s chains to come off.
- It was that melody that opened the prison’s doors for them.
- It’s unimaginable what can come out of having a melody in your heart.
My precious and godly parents sang a song many years ago written by Ira Stanphill. It’s words still echo inside my heart.
You Can have A Song In Your Heart In The Night
1. You can have a melody down in your heart
When it’s aching, almost breaking
Even though the sorrow makes the teardrop start
You can have a melody down in your heart.
You can have a song in your heart in the night,
After every trial, after every mile
Anyone can sing when the sun’s shining bright
But you need a song in your heart at night.
2. Do not let your worries drive your song away,
Though tomorrow brings its sorrow
Just remember after night time comes the day
Do not let your worries drive your song away.
3. Soon the night will pass and morning bring the day
I am longing for its dawning
Until then we’ll labour here and watch and pray
Soon the night will pass and morning bring the day.
Good For Nothing
The Master Chef added a bit more salt. He took his special spoon and tasted the sauce. It still didn’t taste right. He’d never had to put that much salt into this recipe before. What was wrong? He added another teaspoon of salt, and still he couldn’t taste it.
In frustration, the chef took a pinch of salt and touched his lips and his tongue. Nothing, but a grainy feeling, no salt taste! He took the container of salt and threw it into the trash. Then he reached into his pantry and found some more salt to finish his sauce.
Is this the story of a cook having a bad day in the kitchen? No, not really. It’s actually worse than that. It’s a story that comes close to home. It comes real close to home.
Matt. 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
As Holy Ghost filled people we are directly told right here that we are the salt of the earth. Our lives are to have a heavenly flavor that influences every thing we touch and everyone we come in contact with. The world becomes flavored and blessed just by our presence. That’s why God placed us where He did.
- Jacob’s presence greatly blessed Laban financially.
- Joseph’s presence in Egypt got them through the famine.
- Daniel’s presence in Babylon was God’s voice to a heathen world.
Imagine God using you to influence a person or even a group of people. As long as there is enough Holy Ghost difference in your life, you will be effective. God chose the effectiveness of you changed life to be a witness and a testimony to a lost world. People notice the difference the Holy Ghost makes in a life.
Salt has to be salty to be effective. If salt tastes the same as the food it’s put into, there will be no change. The same is true in your life. If you are just like the world, where’s the saltiness? Where is the difference?
- You dress like the world.
- You look like the world.
- You get the same things done at the beauty shop as the world does.
- You sing all the world’s songs.
- You know all the world’s ‘in’ phrases.
- You talk like the world.
- You know all the world’s movie stars.
- You go to the movies with the world.
- You go to the games with the world.
- You go to the wine shelf and buy alcohol like the world.
- You get upset and say the same words the world says.
- You commit adultery and fornication like the world.
- You tell others off like the world does.
- You wear immodest clothes like the world.
- Your pictures on Facebook look just like the worlds.
- Your interests on Facebook are the same as the worlds.
- You wear jewelry like the world.
- You wear makeup like the world.
- You wear clothes that show some of your breast like the world does.
- You wear form-fitting apparel that leaves nothing to the imagination like the world does.
- You were your tight dresses above you knees like the world does.
- You lay out in the yard in a bathing suit like the world.
- You talk in a suggestive manner to the opposite sex like the world does.
- You women put on some form of pants like the world to go to the gym and work out.
- You men wear shorts like the world to play ball and work out.
- You talk all the sports talk like the world.
- You know all the sports statistics like the world.
- The world feels comfortable enough around you to tell you their jokes.
- The world feels safe around you and calls you one of the guys.
Too many have forgotten that although we are in the world, we are not to be of the world.
The bad news is, you have lost your saltiness. The bad news gets worse, there is no way you can be re-salted. Your testimony is history. It’s gone. It’s over. After you have done all that, how do you go about starting over and getting re-salted? I can’t help you, and even though I feel I am a preacher of mercy, the words of Jesus on the subject don’t seem to give a lot of hope.
According the Matt 5:13, The Master Chef is left with only one option when He finds that the salt is no longer salty. Salt that is no longer salty, is good for nothing.
In response to personal queries concerning my intent:
It is not my wish to tell any backslider or a prodigal that they are ‘good for nothing’. Jesus readily reached for the wayward, as evidenced by the stories of the prodigal, the lost sheep, and the good Samaritan, etc. We willingly reach for them as well we should.
The point here is that while some claim to be in church, they still do all that the world does. Their testimony is not good anymore.They’ve lost their salt.
The folks we call Backsliders know they need to repent. Compromisers don’t and won’t.
Surviving Your Nightmare
Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Worse than that, events happen that knock your feet out from under you. The pain is like a nightmare that won’t stop. Thank God we have the Holy Ghost, a church, a pastor, a Bible, family and friends to help us through. Job didn’t.
What happened in the book of Job is hard for human minds to fathom. The book starts out with a special meeting. The sons of God came before the Lord. Satan came also.
The Lord asked Satan where he’d been and what he’d been doing, then the next question He asked was, “What do you think about my servant Job?
Unbeknown to Job, he was God’s favorite person in the whole world. Being God’s favorite has the greatest of benefits. God loved him so much He put a hedge around him.
Satan was sure that Job only served God for the financial blessings. God gave Satan permission to find out for sure.
Satan’s First Day Of Trying To Destroy Job.
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Satan took Job’s most prized possessions in one day.
- His Beloved Children
- His Herds
- His Wealth
- All Gone in One Day
Satan’s Second Day Of Trying To Destroy Job.
Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
Job 2:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
Job 2:4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
Job 2:5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Job 2:8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.
Satan Attacked Job physically. He couldn’t make him curse God by destroying his possessions and his family. He was still reeling from the loss of his children and his financial empire. But Satan wasn’t done. His second attack on Job was physically and emotionally. Physically with the boils, and emotionally with critical ‘friends.’
- Critical And Fault Finding Friends
By this time, Job is feeling pain in every part of his body and soul. His own wife pushes him to reject God. She has had it with living for God. Job was not a weak man and would not budge.
He kept trusting God and said, Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
Job vowed to maintain his ways. He promised God he would keep on doing what he’s always been doing… serving the Lord.
In the end, God blessed Job with double what he had before, yes and double the number of children too.
There may be days in your walk with God that you feel what you are going through is an attack from Satan. You may be very well right.
I can only imagine how devastating it is to feel the cold icy hands of Satan trying to destroy you in your labor for the Lord. I am sure it is very easy to focus on the pain he has inflicted upon your life. Pain comes in many forms, such as the loss of finances, the loss of health, the loss of friendships, and the loss of life. It is a very personal nightmare to watch him tear down everything you have built.
On top of all the pain that Satan brings, he will talk trash to your mind as well. He will tell you that you are, “Out of the will of God. God hates you. You have sinned in the past and this is God’s judgment upon you. You are not qualified to be in the work of the Lord. Get out now.”
He will push you to resign whatever office or position you have in the Kingdom of God. He will tell you to withdraw and lick your wounds. He will tell you that you are not loved or appreciated either.
Satan plays dirty. He is not a gentleman. He will kick you when you are down. He did it to Job, and Job didn’t even have the Holy Ghost.
I am not sure that Job even knew he was God’s favorite man in the whole world. I don’t think that he even knew God had his picture hanging on heaven’s wall. Job didn’t know he was heaven most prized earthly possession. All Job knew about was the pain. He hurt so bad, that pain was all he could see.
To those of us today who feel the harshness of Satan’s handiwork in our lives, I wish to remind you of these things:
- Don’t believe Satan’s Lies.
- God does not hate you. In fact He loves you dearly.
- If pain and problems mean you are out of the will of God, then the Apostle Paul never was in the will of God.
- Job was God’s favorite and he still went through this and God brought him out victorious.
- God’s loves you. You enjoy a better relationship with Him than just being on in His list of Favorites, You are His Child.
- He will bring you out victorious, just like He did Job.
- God knows what you are going through. He has not forgotten where you are.
- He will bring you out
- He will give you back all that the enemy has taken from you… and more!
You Are God’s Favorite Child, In Spite Of What Satan Does.
God Has A Hedge Built All Around You.
It’s God Who Is In Control Of Your Situation.
Be Faithful Like Job, And He Will Bring You Through Your Nightmare.
You Will Survive, In Jesus Name!
Preaching To The Right-Ear
The right-ear advantage has come to light in recent tests done in Europe. Dr. Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University “Gabriele d’Annunzio” in Chieti, Italy had a young woman ask random strangers in a disco for a cigarette in a 2009 experiment. The clubbers were almost twice as likely to hand over a cigarette if the request was made in the right ear whether they were male or a female.
They demonstrated that the right ear shows dominance in responding to verbal stimuli. The brain’s left hemisphere has superiority for processing verbal information. The way the human body is configured; the right ear is connected to the left-brain.
When trying to listen to someone speak in a noisy situation it is common to turn your head to present one ear closer to the person speaking.
The left-brain reasons and responds more often to requests. If you want to get something done, talk to people in their right ear. That’s known as the ‘right ear’ advantage.
- Apologies are received better in the right ear than the left ear.
- Requests to perform tasks around the house are received better in the right ear.
- People are more helpful when you speak into their right ear.
- Selling to the right ear is more productive than the left. If more than two are dining, the sales person should sit to the right of the decision-maker.
Left brain language dominance, which is responsible for producing the right ear advantage, is present in about 90% of people.
If a wives and husbands make their requests into their spouse’s right ear, scientists believe they will have a much better chance of getting what the want. The same is true for parents and teachers talking to children.
That then brings me to the subject of preaching. I know the Bible says ‘he that hath an ear let him hear’ seven different times.
Do you suppose we should find a way to preach to the congregation’s right ear? You know, like placing powerful P.A. Speakers on the right side of the auditorium so their right ear can hear?
We have a lot of preaching going on today and not many people seem to be changing. Do you suppose some folks have been listening at church with the left ear? Maybe that’s the problem. They might change if we can preach to their right ear, because the left isn’t listening!
Are We Mistaken About The ‘Separation From The World’ Concept?
That’s a strange sounding question from a holiness minded preacher! Hear me out.
The intriguing story of Abraham’s journey with God begins with his being called out and away from his homeland. His walk of faith is carefully chronicled for our spiritual guidance and strength. He staggered not at the promises of God and we honor him as the father of the faithful, and rightly so.
Today, it seems we wish to identify with Abraham only up to a certain point. The present day generation does not wish to leave the world behind to follow Jesus. We desire to live the same as always, and yet claim to be different.
The idea of coming out of the world and away from the old life of sin is found throughout the Word of God. It’s nothing new.
- Israel came out of Egypt.
- Elisha left father and mother to follow Elijah.
- Ruth left her people and her gods to follow Naomi.
- New Testament disciples heard Jesus speak the words Follow Me and they did just that.
These and other stories serve as types and illustrations for Holy Ghost believers. These examples aid us in our desire to leave the world behind and follow Jesus.
The saints of old sang choruses like, “I’m Leaving All To Follow Jesus.” Sadly, today many do not wish to give up much to follow Jesus. They sang:
I’m leaving all to follow Jesus,
I am turning from this world away.
Oh, I still rely upon His promise,
And all I have is His today.
Some of the old saints had to walk away from their families. Some had to leave their jobs. Jesus said unless you love me on this level, you are not worthy to be my disciple.
The word church in the Bible means, called out. That’s what we are supposed to be, called out! We are called out of the world. All that are a part of God’s church are called out.
Most of my generation grew up hearing preachers and old saints quote scriptures like:
2Cor. 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you
Rev. 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Why is it we don’t hear verses like these quoted anymore? Evidently it’s just not comfortable to the ears of those who feel they are living in an age of spiritual enlightenment.
There is a lesson to be learned here from Israel. When they wandered in the wilderness, they never seemed to stop complaining.
- They complained about the leadership.
- (They still do that today.)
- They complained about the food.
- (That’s common today too.)
- They complained so much that God sent fiery serpents among them.
Yet I fail to find where they ever complained about what God gave them as dress codes or dietary restrictions. Actually, they seemed to revel in their lifestyle. They never complained about their ‘holiness’ standards. They lived a much more conservative lifestyle than the world around them.
Today, holiness is the first thing worldly-minded saints complain about. It makes one wonder if we even know God as well as Israel did in the wilderness? Why are so many turned off by the word holiness? Whatever happened to “be ye holy even as I am holy”? We sing popular choruses about God’s holiness and often our life and dress don’t match the words we sing.
We tell our selves that we are separated from the world. We pride ourselves in not doing things the world does. Yet while we brag about our separation, we seem to be getting more and more distant from Him in the process.
How is this happening? What’s going on here? Why is it that Pentecostals who have been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost, do not wish to live holy? They want the Holy Spirit, but don’t want the holy living.
There was a day when modesty was accepted and expected in the church as well as the world. We call it holiness today; our grandmothers called it common decency back then. That’s how far we’ve gone down hill.
God is constant. He never changes. The world, on the other hand, is on a fast slippery slope going away from God.
For as long as I can remember, we have used the world to gauge our holiness lifestyle and standards. Therein, I’m afraid, may be part of the problem. We judge our spiritual condition by looking at the world, and then looking at our distance from the world. We think that by not doing what the world is presently doing we are justified.
It is very unsettling to see church folk doing today with good conscience what sinners looked down upon years ago. What has happened is that while we’ve attempted to keep the world at arms length, we’ve gotten our eyes off of Jesus and have unwittingly distanced ourselves from Him. The world is sliding down a slippery slope. I pray we don’t follow.
What would happen to us as the body of Christ if we like Paul separated ourselves unto Him rather than separate ourselves from the world? What if we turned our eyes upon Jesus and only looked at Him. What if we determined within ourselves to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified?
Are we hung up on the concept of separation from the world only? If we are, I am afraid we will continue to drift farther and farther away from Him. Let us all stand with the Apostle Paul and choose to be separated unto God regardless of what the world does!
God is going to have a church that loves holiness. I plan to be part of it. Will you join me?
Rom. 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Her Name’s “Marcia June”
By Martyn Ballestero
She always wraps us up,
In the comfort of her home.
With smiles that hold our soul,
And won’t let it feel alone.
To her plates of comfort food.
Every heart and tummy knows,
With her cooking, it was wooed.
We are drawn into her den
Of coziness and rest.
There she warms our hearts with words,
It’s good living at it’s best.
Soothe her guest’s attention spans.
Pretty pillows great and small,
Compliment the old Afghans
The fireplace is her love,
It’s warmed her heart the most.
There she likes to entertain,
She loves to be the host.
With calm and peaceful ways
She serves and pampers us.
Ever giving of herself
Without the muss or fuss.
Where she reigns with cups of tea.
Making memories for life,
With folks like you and me.
Her husband beams with pride
Knowing she is just the best.
All her children quickly say,
Because of her, they’re blest.
So friends can just drop by,
Just to get their daily dose.
That she’s loved, is not a lie.
Little children laugh and play
Glad to be at home with her.
With her gentle and calm voice,
She’s the one who they prefer.
All that know her love her dear.
(She can sing the sweetest tune.)
It’s with joy I tell you now,
Her name’s Marcia June!