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Archive for March 2011

A Moment Of Weakness And A Lifetime Of Regret

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A Moment Of Weakness And A Lifetime Of Regret

All it will take to give you pain the rest of your life, is for you to mess up just one time. From then on, your life will never be the same.

Can you image a successful middle-age person who has been in church all his life, never done drugs, yet going out on a Friday night to a bad part of town to try some drugs? I know such a man.

It is sad enough that he did it, but he didn’t expect to get hooked his first time. He lost his job, he lost his marriage, and the respect of his children.

He has been through the drug rehabilitation and counseling Knoxville department multiple times and no longer can be trusted with a ten-dollar bill. He might go spend it on drugs.

When he came to church, he’d just sit and cry during my sermons. For years he would come to the altar, desperately battling the power of his addiction.

Today, the dear brother declares he has deliverance. Thank the Lord. But he has moved to another city in the same state so no one will know his past. He can’t hold his head up anymore and face his old friends. It wasn’t that God couldn’t forgive him; it’s just that he now has nothing but regrets.

Some of us have lived long enough to hear about a moment of weakness that someone had. We know too that they will have a life-time of regret. It’s so horrible. Your heart even hurts for them. It doesn’t matter what the weakness was, regret is quick to cast it’s long shadow over them until they die.

This generation is living so, reckless. Heed the warning, if you will of my Father, a man of God who has gone on home to be with the Lord. He died in 1994 but his message is still relevant.

In the 1950’s, I remember him (Bro. Carl Ballestero) preaching a message that always seemed to fill up the altars. He called it “A Moment Of Weakness And A Lifetime Of Regret.” I found his sermon notes a few years ago. The message was needed then, it’s really needed now.

†††††††

Here is a copy of my Dad’s sermon notes.

I never want to let his messages die.

Sermon Preached by Rev. Carl Ballestero

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 30, 2011 at 12:15 pm

That’s Why I’m Scared!

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That’s Why I’m Scared!

I have said in jest many times, “I ain’t scared of nothing, but I’m scared of that!” I was trying to get a laugh while talking about an uncomfortable subject or situation.

I am not a man who has phobias nor have I ever been called a fearful soul. But today I wish to reveal to my readers, that really, down deep, I’m scared.

I’m not the only one either. Remember what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth?

1 Cor. 9:27 KJV But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

1 Cor. 9:27 ESV But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

  • Paul was fearful enough to be careful.
  • He was also careful enough to protect himself and prevent a personal disaster.

I have been overwhelmed this year with unbelievable stories of personal and moral failures.

I’m scared of being shipwrecked. I don’t have a problem admitting it either. I don’t have a plan ‘B’ in living for God, so plan ‘A’ has to work.

  • I refuse to be disobedient to God.
  • I refuse to rebel against Him.
  • I love Him too much to want to live without Him.

Let Me Tell You How Scared I Am!

  • I’m too scared to question God’s Word.
  • I’m too scared to take chances with holiness.
  • I’m too scared to take chances with doctrine.
  • I’m too scared to see how much of the world I can have and still be saved.
  • I’m scared of the spirit of false doctrine.
  • I’m scared of my own built-in ability to rationalize the Word of God to my own destruction.
  • I’m scared of the spirit of immorality.
  • I’m scared of the lust of the flesh.
  • I’m scared of the lust of the eye.
  • I’m scared of the pride of life.
  • I’m scared of the love of money.
  • I’m scared of pride.
  • I’m scared of getting a critical spirit.
  • I’m scared of getting bitter.
  • I’m scared not to forgive.
  • I’m scared not to love my brother.
  • I’m scared not to have the fear of God in my heart.

James wrote that a man could save himself from a horrible fate if he just wouldn’t make that first mistake.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

One might say, ‘Brother, you are only living for God because you are scared.”

I refer you back to Paul’s fear. He was also fearful enough that he ‘died daily’.

Like Paul, I too have invested a lifetime living for God. I’ve loved every day of living for the Lord. It has been the highest honor in the world to have labored for Him.

I have preached many thousands of sermons. Why would I want to throw a ministry away?

I have lived with the most beautiful and loving wife in the world for 45 years. Why would I want to throw that away?

I enjoy the love and respect of five married children, their spouses and thirteen grandchildren. Why would I want to throw that away?

  • I’m scared of doing anything that would disqualify me in the eyes of God.
  • I’m scared of doing anything that would disqualify me in the eyes of my wife and children.

That, my friend, is why I must keep myself under subjection every day as did Paul, that I might not become ‘disqualified.’

It would be horrible to fall this close to home! It would be horrible to become a castaway!

That’s Why I’m Scared!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Christian Living, Fear of God

Tagged with

‘Murder’s Nobodies’

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‘Murder’s Nobodies’

The Detective Lieutenant from Homicide stood at the podium in front of the eight photos pinned on the board.  The pictures were of unnamed young women that had been brutally murdered.

The handful of Detectives seated in the room hung onto every word as he pointed at the Jane Doe photos of each young woman. The hard-nosed, no-nonsense persona of the old Lieutenant was mostly a front. He appeared to be a little rough around the edges. It went with the territory. Everyone in the room however, understood that his heart was soft. He motives were good. And besides all of that, he really cared about people.

Today, his personal mission was to bring attention to each case before them. That was clearly evident. All eight manila files in front of him had sat in the ‘Open-Unsolved’ Department’s file cabinet for too many years. He couldn’t sleep well at night any more because of them. They were his cases. This was his department. These were cases they all should be concerned about. Not just him. His mind raced ahead as he spoke to his team.

  • All the girls were listed as Jane Does.
  • No one had reported them missing.
  • Maybe they were runaways.
  • Maybe they weren’t.
  • No one seemed to miss them and several had been dead for more than five years.
  • Maybe they’d left in rebellion.
  • Maybe the family was glad they were gone.
  • They’d somehow slipped through the cracks.
  • No splash was made on the news.
  • There was no front-page write-up in the paper.
  • Why?

“These young women,” the Detective said, “are ‘Murder’s Nobodies.’ They are the victims that don’t count in the minds of those that knew them. No one knows they’re dead. No one has asked about them. No one cared enough to file a missing persons report. No one loved them. No one came looking. No one called.

“Every one of them was somebody’s daughter. Every one of them counted. They don’t deserve to lie in an unmarked grave. They don’t deserve to be forgotten. They all were horrible murdered. They suffered great pain and no one cries for them.”

The old Detective stopped in his speech and looked at the young men and women in front of him. He wanted his words to strike a note in every heart. He wanted everyone in his department to get a hold of what he was saying. He wanted them to get the Big Picture. He wanted them to care enough to do something.

“They’re ‘Murder’s Nobodies’. They weren’t famous enough to be missed. They weren’t rich enough to make the news. They weren’t pretty enough to be asked about. They were just nobodies. They lived an invisible existence in their society. Unseen, unheard of and now, forgotten. I don’t care how long it takes. I’m not willing to let these cases stay in the Open-Unsolved files. We’ve got work to do.”

The group all nodded their heads as one. Their eyes followed the Lieutenant’s eyes and looked again at the pictures on the wall. They saw them as victims who didn’t deserve to have everything taken from them. They saw them as victims who didn’t deserve to die. They saw them as victims who were called ‘Murder’s Nobodies.’ Every community has some. Every church has some as well.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 23, 2011 at 12:53 am

Change Me

with 4 comments

Change Me

In this physical life, change is inevitable. Every seven years our body’s cells are completely replaced with new ones. It all happens without our conscience involvement.

For most of us, however, it’s the spiritual, the emotional change that is difficult. Change will never happen in our lives unless we want it to. We must be involved.

Merriam Webster gives the definition of “CHANGE” as:

a verb

  • to make different
  • transform
  • to replace with another
  • switch
  • to exchange
  • to undergo a modification

The Apostle Paul wrote about change like this:

Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

1. Before God can change our homes, He must change us.

2. Before God change our church, He must change us.

We Change Many Things On The ‘Outside’.

  • We change hair styles
  • We change clothes
  • We change wardrobes
  • We change deodorants
  • We change toothpaste
  • We change shoes
  • We change diets
  • We change our minds
  • We change schools
  • We change college majors
  • We change grocery stores
  • We change banks
  • We change the sheets
  • We change room colors
  • We change furniture
  • We change houses
  • We change drivers
  • We change auto insurance
  • We change cars
  • We change oil
  • We change friendships
  • We change relationships
  • We change churches
  • We change presidents

We Routinely Change Everything… But Our Hearts.

Today God, I Want You To Change Me.

  • I want to change how I talk.
  • I want to change how I feel.
  • I want to change how I think.
  • I want to change I how I respond.

I Don’t Like Who I Am Right Now.

  • I don’t like how I’ve been living, change me.
  • I don’t like how I’ve been thinking, change me.
  • I don’t want to be lost, change me.
  • I don’t like the person I have become, change me.
  • I don’t like all the resentment I feel, change me.
  • I don’t like being offended all the time, change me.
  • I don’t like feeling jealous, change me.
  • I don’t like being carnal, change me.
  • I don’t like feeling empty, change me.
  • I don’t like having to sneak around, change me.
  • I don’t like feeling guilty, change me.
  • I don’t want to be lost, change me.

It Won’t Be Easy, Just Change Me.

  • I know change is not easy, just change me.
  • I know change brings tears, just change me.
  • I know change is painful, just change me.
  • I know it will make me cry, just change me.

The Devil Doesn’t Want Me To Change,

But Change Me Any Way.

Change My Heart.

  • Change my heart to a heart that you can touch.
  • Change my heart to a heart that is tender before you.
  • Change my heart to a heart that is willing.
  • Change my heart to a heart that is obedient.
  • Change my heart to a heart that is right.

Change My Mind.

  • My thinking gets me in trouble, change me.
  • My life is a mess, change me.
  • My world is upside down, change me.
  • My thoughts are not your thoughts, change me.
  • My thoughts are wrong, change me.

Transform My Life.

  • Transform my spirit, change me.
  • Transform my motives, change me.
  • Transform my goals in life, change me.
  • Transform my attitude, change me.
  • Transform my walk with you, change me.
  • Transform my prayer life, change me.
  • Transform my relationships, change me.

I’m Tired Of My Old Life, Change Me.

  • I have lived in sin, change me.
  • I have done wrong, change me.
  • I have displeased you, change me.
  • I have not been holy, change me.
  • I want to be a man after Your own heart.
  • I want to be a woman after Your own heart.

Wash Me Make Me Clean.

  • Wash me with Your Word, change me.
  • Wash me with Your Blood, change me.
  • Wash me with Your Spirit, change me.

Change Me Like You Did When You Changed…

  • Saul To Paul
  • Jacob To Israel

Change Me…

  • Change me like you change a caterpillar into a butterfly.
  • Change me like you change an acorn into an oak tree.
  • Change me like you change night into day.
  • Change me like you change rain into sunlight.
  • Change me like you changed water into wine.

  • Change me from sorrow into joy.
  • Change me from despair into hope.
  • Change me from defeat into victory.
  • Change me from weakness into strength.
  • Change me from death into life.
  • Change me from shame into glory.

I Want To Be A New Creature.

  • I want to be pleasing unto You, change me.
  • I want Your blessing upon my life, change me.
  • I want to be used by You, change me.
  • I want my old nature to die out, change me.
  • I want to walk in the light, change me.
  • I want to be ready for Your return, change me.
  • I’m done with the world, change me.
  • I’m through fooling around, change me.
  • I’m ashamed of my failures, change me.
  • I’m tired of making excuses, change me.
  • I’m sick of myself, change me.
  • I’m sick of sin, change me.
  • I’m tired of Satan’s victories, change me.
  • I’m tired of Satan’s hold on my life, change me.
  • I’m tired of being defeated, change me.
  • I can’t go on like this any more, change me.
  • I can’t live this way, change me.
  • I can’t justify myself any longer, change me.
  • I can’t hold my head up in Your presence, change me.
  • I can’t do right, change me.

I don’t want to feel empty.

I don’t want to feel shallow.

I don’t want to be half-hearted.

I don’t want to be unfaithful.

I don’t want to be unmoved.

I don’t want to be sinful.

I don’t want to be left behind.

  • Change How I Pray.
  • Change How I Worship.
  • Change How I Sing.
  • Change How I Feel.
  • Change How I Testify.
  • Change How I Hear Your Word.
  • Change How I Respond To Preaching.
  • Change How I Think.
  • Change What I Say.
  • Change What I Do.
  • Change Where I Go.
  • Change What I Think.
  • Change How I Feel.
  • Change How I Respond.

Purify Me

  • My flesh stinks, change me.
  • My spirit is not right, change me.
  • I’m unclean, change me.
  • Take away my bitterness, change me.
  • Take away my critical spirit, change me.
  • Take away my love of the world, change me.
  • Take away my pride, change me.
  • Take away my lusts, change me.
  • Take away my love of money, change me.
  • Take away my anger, change me.
  • Take away my hatred, change me.
  • Take away my arrogance, change me.
  • Take away my rebellious spirit, change me.
  • Take away my spiritual lethargy, change me.

Renew Me

  • Renew me in the Holy Ghost
  • Restore unto me the joy of the Holy Ghost
  • Let me feel Your presence.
  • Let me have liberty in the Holy Ghost.
  • I want to be an overcomer.
  • I want to hear You say, “Well Done.”
  • I want to be victorious.

Change Me So That Someday I Might Be Changed From This Mortality To Immortality.

Wash Me, Right Now

Sanctify Me, Right Now

Justify Me, Right Now

Purify Me, Right Now

Change Me

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 21, 2011 at 12:09 am

Posted in Renewal

Tagged with

The Devil’s Got A Plan

with 3 comments

The Devil’s Got A Plan

2Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

You Are Aware Of His Plan

    2Cor. 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

    God’s Got a Better Plan

      Rom. 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

      ________________________________________

      The Devil’s Got A Plan To Get You To Backslide!

      • 1 Day Plan
      • 1 Week Plan
      • 1 Month Plan
      • 1 Year Plan
      • 5 Year Plan
      • 10 Year Plan
      • 20 Year Plan
      • Life Time Plan

      He’s Got A Plan To Get You To:

      1. Make You Quit Paying Tithes

      2. Make You Offended

      3. Make You Miss Church

      4. Make You Withdraw

      5. Fill You With Bitterness

      6. Make You Hate Holiness

      7. Mess Up Your Marriage

      8. Stop Your Worship

      9. Make You Immoral

      10. Make You Love Money

      11. Make You Love Pleasure, MORE…

      12. Find You A Sinner Girlfriend…

      13. Make You Rebel

      14. Make You Move From Your Church

      15. Stop Your Prayer Life

      ___________________________________

      What Would It Take To Make You Quit Church?

      • To Make You Backslide?
      • To Offend You?
      • Make You Jealous?
      • To Defeat You?
      • Make You Sell Your Birthright?
      • Make You Throw This Away?
      • Make You Willing to Compromise?
      • Stop You Paying Your Tithes?
      • Put You At Odds With The Pastor?
      • Make You Bitter?

      ____________________________________

      What’s Your Chances Of Recovery?

      1. From Not Paying Tithes – Not Good

      2. From Being Easily Offended – Rare

      • (Harder than walled city)

      3. Habitually Missing Church – Not Good

      4. From Compromise – Rare

      5. From Bitterness – Rare

      6. From Hating Holiness – Rare

      • (When folks lose the revelation of Holiness, the Godhead is next.)

      7. From Marriage Problems – Difficult

      8. From No Worship – Difficult

      9. From Immorality – Difficult

      10. From The Love of Money – Rare

      • (Easier for camel to go…eye needle)

      11. From the Love of Pleasure – Difficult

      12. From Sinner Boyfriend/Girlfriend – Difficult

      13. From Rebellion -Rare

      • (Miriam/Korah 200)

      14. From Rejecting Holiness – Rare

      15. From No Prayer Life – Difficult

      Now, The Big Question:

      CAN You Recover? Absolutely!

      2Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

      2Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

      __________________________________________

      What Would It Take?

      • To Turn You Around?
      • Get You On Fire?
      • Pray You Through?
      • For You To Get The Victory?
      • For You To Get Some Convictions?
      • Make You Shout?
      • Make You Worship?
      • Make You Joyful In Jesus?
      • Get A Double Portion?
      • Keep You Pure?
      • Make You Fall In Love With Jesus?
      • Make You Pray?

      _________________________________________

      People Can Make Amazing Comebacks:

      Football: Linemen/Quarterback

      • Read the Blitz
      • Devil tries to Blitz you. Read the play
      • The sin which does so easily beset you. (Your Weakest Area)
      • You can survive the Blitz that is being played on your soul.
      • You may feel you are behind in the game of life, but it’s not over yet.
      • Your fans are praying you make a comeback.

      Be The Comeback Kid

      Prov. 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

      Your Only Hope:

      • Repent
      • Get Fervent For God

      There’s No Such Thing As A Hopeless Cause.

      • There’s No Such Thing As A Throw A Way Soul.
      • You Can Be Saved. You Just Have To Be Willing To Make The Comeback.

      How Bad Do You Want To Make It?

      • You CAN Defeat The Devils Plan For Your Life!
      • Let The Holy Ghost Help You!

      

      Written by Martyn Ballestero

      March 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      You Are Here

      with 5 comments

      You Are Here

      Have you ever stopped in a new mall and looked at the directory to orient yourself? That is basically what I am intending to do today with some of our current events and the Word of the Lord.

      These really are the last days. All we have to do is look around and we see Bible prophecy fulfilled in our newspapers and most of our churches.

      There are many more references than I have the time or space to list, but here are few that are worthy of note.

      2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

      2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

      For the time will come

      • Not endure sound doctrine
      • Itching Ears
      • They only want to hear what they want to hear.
      • They will go from preacher to preacher looking for an easy Gospel.
      • Their lives will become a ‘fable’ (fiction)

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

      2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

      2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

      2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

      2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

      Last Days

      • Perilous Times
      • Blasphemers, Unthankful,
      • Disobedient to Parents
      • Unholy
      • Without natural affection
      • Can’t keep their word.
      • False accusers.
      • Lives out of control
      • Fierce
      • Despisers of those that are living right.
      • Traitors
      • Unteachable
      • Arrogant
      • Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
      • Have a form of godliness.
      • Denying the power therof.

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      2Pet 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

      Last Days

      • Scoffers
      • Living to please self.

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      Mt 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

      Mt 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

      Mt 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

      Below are some conditions in the world that are current as of March 14, 2011.

      Current Armed Conflicts In World Today

      “The following table shows where wars and armed conflicts are raging throughout the world in 2010. Find the year that war began and the major warring parties involved by region of conflict, including the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.” (Quoted from “Infoplease”)

      Read more: Significant Ongoing Armed Conflicts, 2010 — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0904550.html#ixzz1GfyV5q5I



      Earth Quakes Per Year

      http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/eqstats.php

      Earthquakes Last 7 Days

      http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/

      Famines In World Today

      http://www.mapreport.com/century/subtopics/d/0.html

      Pestilence In World Today

      http://barrybrumfield.com/prophecy/end_times/pestilence.htm

      Mt 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

      Mt 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      This Generation shall not pass

      Lk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

      Lk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

      Lk 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

      Lk 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

      Lk 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

      Lk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

      • Fear sights and great signs from heaven.
      • Hated of all men for His Name sake.
      • Jerusalem compassed with armies.
      • Signs in the sun, moon and stars
      • Distress of nations with perplexity
      • Tsunami – sea and waves roaring

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      Mt 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

      Mt 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

      Mt 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      WE WOULD BE CRAZY TO PLAY AROUND WITH GOD NOW.

      THESE ARE THE END TIMES.

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!


      Now For They Good News!!!

      Jesus In The Synagogue

      Lk 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

      Lk 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

      Lk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

      Lk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

      Lk 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

      Lk 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

      Jesus was saying to His generation,

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      Peter Preached On The Day Of Pentecost:

      Acts 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

      Acts 2:13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

      Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

      Acts 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

      Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

      Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

      Peter Said, “This Is That” Which Was Prophesied:

      He was saying:

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

      Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

      Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

      Today Is The Day Of Salvation

      THIS IS NO LONGER PROPHECY, YOU ARE HERE!

      The Out-Pouring of the Holy Ghost is no longer Prophecy. You Are Here!!


      Written by Martyn Ballestero

      March 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

      Bad Water

      with 4 comments

      Bad Water

      Ben laid the shovel down. He was glad to see his neighbor John. He was also glad for a break. He had been digging in this hole for over two days now. It was hot; he was dirty and he was very thirsty.

      John gave him a hand to climb up out of the hole. Ben’s wife offered her tired husband a drink of water from her bucket. He sipped from the dipper. It’s coolness was instant refreshment.

      “What are you digging the hole for Ben?” John asked.

      “I’m digging me another cistern.”

      “Another cistern? Sorry to hear that you’re having problems. What went wrong with the other two?”

      Ben shook his head. “I don’t know. Either the soil is bad here, or I didn’t get it sealed right or something. The first two cisterns wouldn’t hold water very long. I spent all my time carrying water to them, trying to fill them up.

      “Then the next thing I knew, most of the water would seep out and I had to go fill them back up again. It like to wore me out. I finally got tired of messing with the first two cisterns and decided to try it again in another spot. That’s why I’m digging this one. Maybe I’ll get it right this time.

      John looked down by the tree line. He mentally measured the distance, trying to understand what would be harder, walking a few more yards to get water from the fountain or digging a bunch of holes in the ground. To John, it was a no brainer.

      “It’s not that far to the spring inside the tree line, Ben. You sure could save yourself a lot of work. The spring water there is pure, it’s cold, there’s plenty of it and it’s free.” And it’s just bubbling up out of the ground like a fountain.

      “Don’t you go to nagging on me too John! Sarah preaches to me almost every day. She says, you’ve dug a hole, and then you carry water and pour it into the hole and then hope it rains a lot to fill up rest of the hole.

      “What water doesn’t seep out becomes a pool for the water bugs to swim in and Sarah said it’s dirty water and she has to skim the film off of top of the water every morning before she can get a drink. She hates the cistern’s water. She says it’s polluted. The woman just likes to nag.

      “But you’re right, the spring has good water. I just got tired of walking over there to fetch water several times a day. I want my own water beside my own house. I don’t like being beholden to anyone.”

      John looked at his neighbor and his heart sank. He remembered the words of the Prophet Jeremiah as he had stood and prophesied in their village recently.

      Jer. 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

      Ben had stood beside John that day as Jeremiah had preached. He had heard what John had heard, but somehow, Ben couldn’t see the big picture. He couldn’t see past himself. For that matter, Ben couldn’t even see himself in the sermon Jeremiah preached.

      Ben was one of those independent souls that liked to do things his own way. He was only interested in what pleased him. He was one of those people who always had to learn the hard way. This exercise was just a case in point.

      “Benjamin, do you remember the day we heard Jeremiah in the village?

      “Yes.”

      “I know it was a long sermon, but he talked about two evils that Israel had committed. The first one was that we had forsaken God. We have left Him who is THE Fountain of Living Waters and the second one was that we had dug our own cisterns. We had tried life on our own. We had dug our own cisterns in life and ignored THE Fountain.

      “Then he prophesied that our self-dug cisterns would never hold water. Notice he said ‘cisterns’. He was trying to tell us that no matter how hard we tried on our own, we would never get it perfect. There’s always going to be failed attempts in any life that is away from THE Fountain!

      “You and I both know that water don’t get any better than the cold clear water of the fountain that we’ve got here.

      “Every time I’ve seen you carry buckets of water from the fountain and then empty them this dirt hole, I think of what the prophet said.

      “It’s a lot more work to dig holes and carry water to pour in them than it is to just kneel and drink from the fountain.”

      “And if you get too proud to go fetch water to pour in here you’ll have wait awhile for the rain to help you out. You will be a very thirsty man before long.”

      “You’re probably right John, but there are several reasons I don’t want to go into, but a big one is, I can’t go and drink at that fountain anymore because of old man Naphtali. I hate what he’s done and how he’s treated me and my family, so I decided I’d dig my own cistern so I won’t have to look at him or drink from the same fountain he does. I think he’s a hypocrite.

      “To me, my water is just as good. I got most of it from the fountain. Besides, it’s mine and if I never drink water beside Naphtali at the fountain again, I’ll die a happy man. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m not hurting anyone and I don’t plan on being hurt again.

      “Ben, we’ve been neighbors and friends all of our lives. Our fathers were friends before us. As your friend I’m sorry for your hurts and the pain others have caused you. But before you ever had a problem with Naphtali, you were always doing things your own way. Now you’ve let some rogue person be the reason you won’t drink at the fountain anymore.

      “We both know that you are working harder trying to distance yourself from the fountain than if you just went ahead and had a drink at the fountain. In your mind, you are still drinking the water from the fountain, but in reality, you first pour the water into the dirt down there in that hole.  Then come back and drink it later and tell yourself it’s as good as always. It’s not the same and you know it. Your water is no longer pure.

      “Your cisterns will never hold water. Your work will always come to naught digging cisterns.  When you get done with all your hard work, at best, all you will ever have is bad water. Everyone sees it but you. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone, except to God.

      “Come on man, put down that old shovel down once and for all and quit trying to do things your own way. Come on back and drink with me at the fountain. Don’t worry about Naphtali or anyone else. There’s just no water like fountain water and you know it!”

      Old Ben looked at his neighbor and felt no urge to smile. How dare John criticize his hard work, his motives and all of his efforts. That’s not what friends did. Friends were supposed to support you no matter what you did. Friends were supposed to love at all times. This didn’t feel like love.

      “I’ll say this as nice as I can John. You’ve spoken your mind. I thank you for your concern. But I would appreciate you never trying to preach to me again. I don’t need it, I don’t want it and I don’t like it.

      “If all you have is criticism of me, then it might be better if you just stay quiet, stay away and leave me alone. Let me do things my own way. I’ve never been happier than I am now. I’m freer now than I’ve ever been. Your preaching just angers me. I’ll never go back to your beloved fountain.”

      John nodded, shook Ben’s hand, then turned and walked away.

      Written by Martyn Ballestero

      March 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm