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Archive for January 2013

The Highway In The Sea

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The Highway In The Sea

Psa 77:19 Thy way is in the sea.

There is a path through your problem. I’m sure that when the psalmist penned this, his first thought was the crossing of the Red Sea. He was no doubt trying to encourage himself by recalling the saving power of God in Israel’s past. “Thy way is in the sea.”

To Israel, The Sea Was As An Object of Dread

There were two places above all others dreaded by the Jew. The one was the Desert and the other was the Sea.

1. The Desert

Because It Was The Home Of:

  • The home of wild beasts.
  • The haunt of robbers who plundered the Jewish villages.
  • The pathway of those enemy armies, which came against Jerusalem.
  • Merciless in it’s heat and lack of water.

2. The Sea

Because it was:

  • Full of storms and treachery
  • Cruel and unforgiving
  • Deep
  • It is very difficult to cross
  • A great divider

The Sea was the first problem that Israel encountered in their escape from Egypt. The Desert or Wilderness was their next source of dread for forty years

We are sometimes slow to learn the lesson that God’s way is in the very thing we dread.

We are so quick to feel that God has forgotten us when the very thing which we dread, appears.

  • We all love health, but dread disease.
  • We love success, but we dread disappointment.
  • We love friends, but we dread rejection.
  • We love money, but we dread financial loss.
  • We love comfort, but we dread distress.

The Way Of The Lord Of Is In The Sea.

Sometimes His way is through our problem and the very thing we dread, and not around it.

We must believe that He is working out His purposes for us in the dark of night as well as in the broad daylight. We must believe that He is working out His purposes for us in the sea as well as on dry land.

What is the object of thy greatest dread, O Hebrew? Is it the sea? Well then remember, “God’s way is in the sea.”

The Sea Is Almost Alway Restless

The sea was the element of constant change, the home of restlessness. One day the sea might be calm; the next day, it may rage in a storm. It was all of this that the writer understood when the word came to him that God’s way was in the sea.

  • Is there unrest in our life?
  • Are there storms you must face today?
  • Are the waves threatening you?

Remember, He makes a way, a highway, in the sea of your problem. He makes a way through the very thing that you dread and fear.

Trust Him!

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Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 30, 2013 at 11:46 am

Posted in Comfort, Faith, Trust

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I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.

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I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.

The old preacher sat on a rock at the fork in the road. The many years of struggle showed on his face, and in the stoop of his shoulders. He watched as travelers passed him by.

Some of his preacher friends and acquaintances  stopped a moment or two to chat before continuing their journey. Many came in groups, others by themselves, but they all walked down the road.

The children of his friends walked the road too, some of them walked with their parents, others walked alone.

Most everyone nodded in acknowledgement and smiled at him while continuing on their journey. A few stopped and sat on the rock beside him to visit for a while before walking on.

The old preacher noticed that a large number did not hesitate when they came to the fork in the road. They as if by some predetermination chose which path to walk.

There were those who paused and stared at the signposts, as if unsure. One or two fumbled for their map as if to verify which road would be best.

Those who still seemed unsure of which path to choose, changed from looking at the road signs, to looking at the other travellers. If by chance they happened to see a friend that looked like they knew what path to choose, they simply followed without further ado.

Every now and then one of the young travellers that stood reading the signposts turned to the old man for advice.

“Which fork in the road should I choose?” They asked.

The old preacher would look up at their sincere faces and without hesitation point in the direction that he knew was best. Some sneered, and walked down the other road anyway. Some followed his advice.

Occasionally travelers would return to the fork of the road to look at the signs again, as if to confirm their choice.

One young preacher who had walked down the wrong path quite a ways returned to the old man and began to chastise him.

“Why didn’t you stop me? Why didn’t you tell me that was the wrong path? Why didn’t you tell me how much I would lose if I walked down that path? Why didn’t you tell me I was in delusion to believe it was a better road? I thought you were a friend to my family, and me but you didn’t stop me and tell me which road to go! Why?

The old man didn’t get offended. He looked at the son of his friend, and then began.

“You know I love you, I love your father too. You know what road he walked down, but you felt comfortable in ignoring that fact because your friends and popular people have influenced you.

“I noticed you watching me as I pointed out the right way to others. You chose to ignore this old man’s advice.

“The reason I never told you personally which road to walk down is because you never wanted to know bad enough to ask. Maybe you didn’t want to hear the word, NO! I didn’t tell you because you didn’t want me to.

“If I had told you which path to choose without you asking, you would have taken that as an insult to your intelligence. You would have felt I was interfering in your business, so I held my peace as I held my breath.

“Those who ask for direction really want help. Those who don’t ask will soon need help. It’s a mistake of youth to reject the paths of their fathers in serving the Lord.

“You once believed your choices to always be accurate. Your delusion made it feel that it was God that was guiding you, now you have fear and regret because of your great losses. It’s the mercies of the Lord that you have returned to this point.

“The bad news is there are some things you will never regain. But, the final chapter has not been written. Remember hearing your father singing the song, “It’s Not the First Mile”?

“The real question my son, is now that you know which road is right, which one will you choose?”

With a thankful embrace and a sincere apology, the young man turned and walked back to the fork. This time he chose the one marked, “The Old Path.”

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 23, 2013 at 12:29 am

Heaven’s Last Resort

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Heaven’s Last Resort

The Angel Ariel suddenly appeared in front of Jonathan’s desk. They were both Second Degree Angels laboring under a Level Seven Code Red.

“Michael sent me here to verify that we have everything we need on hand in case we have to go into immediate production,” he said without any formalities.

Jonathan’s nameplate on the desk showed that he was the head of the Immediate Response Team, which was a division of the Prayer Room Construction Unit.

“He also wanted me to get a list of the construction materials that were available this afternoon, if we get the go ahead from higher up.

men_women_symbols“We’ve waited on John and Jane Doe to build their own Prayer Room for years. They’ve talked about it a long time, but they’ve never seemed to get around to getting one built.

“Now, they have waited until till the last-minute. If they don’t build their own, we don’t have much choice but to build one for them.

“It’s The Lord’s last resort, to build someone a prayer room. That is not His first choice. His first choice is that all men would have their own Prayer Room.”

Jonathan shook his head with understanding, and said,

“I recently watched some parents fret because their children, that were away at college, got too busy and neglected to call home. I overheard the mother say to her husband, that if we don’t deposit any money in their bank account this week, they’ll call home.”

“You’re right; we’ve all seen it,” said Ariel. “If the parents cut off the money, then the children remember to call and talk to Dad and Mom, all of a sudden. Actually, that is kind of what happens in the Spirit world, as well!”

Jonathan nodded his head in agreement as he pulled the current Prayer Room Construction Materials List closer to him, and began to read aloud.

“Well, pretty much the usual supplies are all in stock. We are pretty well stocked.

“For Class 1 Spiritual Emergency Circumstances, There Are Things Like…

  • Level 7 Temptations
  • Code Red Tribulations
  • Category 4 Storms

“For Class 2 Physical Emergency Circumstances, There’s…

  1. Bad Doctor’s reports
  2. Afflictions
  3. Incurable Syndromes
  4. Permanent Injuries
  5. Long Hospital Stays

“For Class 3 Material Emergencies, We Have

  • Financial loss
  • Loss of Job
  • Loss of housing
  • Loss of transportation
  • Debt overload

“For Class 4 Emotional Circumstances, We’ve Got…

  • Disappointments
  • Failures
  • Heartache
  • Rejection
  • Wayward children
  • Wayward grand children
  • Wayward spouse

“And Under Class 5…,

Jonathan looked up at Ariel to see if he wanted him to continue reading.

Ariel held up his hand as a signal for Jonathan to stop.

“Sounds like everything we might need, is on hand. We are still on standby, hoping against hope that John and Jane Doe will build their own Prayer Room without any help from us.  A Prayer Room is only built by us, as a last resort.

“Jonathan, I certainly hope your services aren’t needed, but if they are, I’ll get back with you! Keep your crew on standby.”

With that, Ariel disappeared. Jonathan waited to see what the day would bring forth.

Later that afternoon, Ariel stuck his head around the corner with a smile on his face.

“Good news,” he announced. “John and Jane Doe started building a Prayer Room on their own. Tell the crew to stand down, all is well.”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 22, 2013 at 1:06 am

Posted in Prayer

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It’ll Cost You Everything To Live For God!

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It’ll Cost You Everything To Live For God!

 Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

The word hate used here simply means to love less. It is necessary to love everything and everyone less than we love Him, if we will truly be his disciple.

Some have had to walk away from jobs, sports, positions, fame, and  had to leave their old friends as well. There are those that have even had to walk away from family.

 

But, Now Days Folks Don’t Want To Give Up Much To Follow Jesus.

Do you remember some of the songs the old saints used to sing? Songs like:

I’m Leaving All To Follow Jesus,

Ida M. Budd, 1898.

Leaving all to follow Jesus,
Turning from the world away,
Stepping out upon the promise,
All I have is His today.

Refrain

Leaving all to follow Jesus,
Turning from the world away,
Stepping out upon His promise,
All I have is His today.

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It’ll Cost You Everything To Live For God!

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Or,

Take This Whole World, But Give Me Jesus

Author: Unknown.

(Chorus)

Take this whole world, but give me Jesus

Take this whole world, but give me Jesus

Take this whole world, but give me Jesus

I won’t turn back, I won’t turn back

Take this whole world, but give me Jesus

Take this whole world, but give me Jesus

Take this whole world, but give me Jesus

I won’t turn back, I won’t turn back

 

___________________________________________________

It’ll Cost You Everything To Live For God!

___________________________________________________

 

 

The Rich Young Ruler Wanted To Hang On To His Possessions.

Mt 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Not only was his possessions a problem, but he also ignored the invitation to take up the cross and follow Jesus.

Some just can’t say goodbye to the world.

A Potential Preacher Didn’t Want To Leave His Home Or Family.

Luke 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

Luke 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Luke 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Luke 9:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

Elisha Had To Get A “Leave It All Behind” Mindset.

1Ki 19:19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

1Ki 19:20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?

1Ki 19:21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.

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It’ll Cost You Everything To Live For God!

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Living For God Is An All Or Nothing Lifestyle

  • The most miserable people in the church are those trying to live in both worlds
  • The least spiritual people in the church are those trying to live in both worlds.
  • The least likely people to be saved are those trying to live in both worlds.
  • Don’t even expect God to use you if you are still in love with the world.

 

There Is Nothing Worth Hanging On To, If It Means Losing Your Own Soul.

Mt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Please Note:

If I ever plan on being saved, I must choose to say goodbye to the things of the world and the things of the flesh, and then love God and live for God with all my heart!

Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Deut 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deut 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Deut 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Deut 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Deut 6:9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

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It’ll Cost You Everything To Live For God!

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Mk 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Mk 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

Mk 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

Mk 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm

The Defense Never Rests

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The Defense Never Rests

After the State has presented its charges against the defendant in a court of law, it signifies to the judge that it is finished by saying in open court, “The State rests.”

The Defense Attorney then begins to present a defense for his client, which hopefully will offer reasonable doubt to the mind of the jury. When the Defense has exhausted its resources and explanations, it too announces in similar manner, “The Defense rests.”

When the Defense rests, there is not much more to be said on behalf of the accused. The trial is about over. The defendant’s life is ready to be handed over to the jury.

 

My Father’s Funeral Sermon

The eloquent and ‘adopted’ other son of the late Carl J. Ballestero’s family, is Bro. A.W. Buie Jr. He was deeply loved by my Father. Bro. Bill Buie showered Dad with great honor and affection. At my Father’s funeral in September of 1994, Bro Buie brought me to tears as he preached one of the most beautiful messages I have ever heard. He entitled the funeral sermon, “The Defense Rests.”

Pastors and preachers are but mere mortals. Their life span is measured out on heaven’s Time-Line and no one can lengthen it. There are only so many sermons a man can preach as he reaches for the lost and hurting before he dies. His hope of seeing mercy for the guilty is limited only by his short life. Although they died, hope has not died with them.

 

There Is One Defense Attorney Who Is Not Dead, And He Never Rests.

  • He NEVER quits,
  • He never gives in,
  • He never gives up.

 

Jesus Is The Advocate  (Defense Attorney)

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

  • An Advocate is a Defense Attorney. Jesus is our Defense Attorney.

 

He Makes Daily Intercession For Us.

Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

  • Notice the progressive verb ending, ‘eth’ on maketh. That means Jesus Christ will never stop making intercession for us.

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Simply put, The Lord Jesus is our Defense Attorney. That’s what the Cross was all about. From the moment He spoke the words, “Father forgive them,” He officially became our Advocate.

 

Believe the Word of God.

The Lord has not, and will not give up on us. No matter what the charges are against us, may our hearts have peace knowing that if we sin, we have a Defense Attorney that won’t give up on us.

 

What Is The Price Of His Retainer?

Repentance. If we are willing to repent, then this blessed opportunity is waiting for us. We must not stop until we have fully obeyed Acts 2:38, just like all of the New Testament church believers did.

 

Don’t give up on yourself. You’ve got the best Defense Attorney in the world!

He ever liveth to make intercession for you!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 8, 2013 at 12:21 am

Mercy Healings

with 10 comments

Mercy Healings

Just the title alone sounds unfamiliar and out-of-place. Mercy Healings. We tend to associate mercy with forgiveness and repentance. We directly connect mercy with salvation, and rightly so. However, mercy is also connected with our healing.

Thank God, that in His mercy He has granted us the privilege of repentance! Thank Him too, that His mercy for is also for our healing! The stripes on His back are our reminders that He included our healing in His mercy.

 

 

Remember The Story Of The Desperate Mother?

healing-the-womanMt 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Mt 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

Mt 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mt 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

Mt 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Mt 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

Mt 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

  • She Asked For Healing Mercy, And Received It.

 

 

Remember The Story Of The Desperate Father?

Mt 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

Mt 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

  • He Asked For Healing Mercy, And Received It.

 

 

Remember The Story Of The Two Blind Men?

Mt 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

Mt 20:31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

Mt 20:32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?

Mt 20:33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

Mt 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

  • They Asked For Healing Mercy, And Received It.

 

 

Remember The Story Of Blind Bartimaeus?

jesus_healing_blindMk 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Mk 10:47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Mk 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Mk 10:49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

Mk 10:50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

Mk 10:51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

Mk 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

  • He Asked For Healing Mercy, And Received It.

 

 

Mercy for healing was always given to those who came asking for mercy. On the other hand, there are examples of the Lord’s mercy coming to those who could not come to Him.

 

 

Remember The Story Of The Lame Man At The Pool of Bethesda?

(Did you know that the word Bethesda means Mercy’s House?)

 Jesus-at-the-pool-of-Bethesda-001John 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

John 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

John 5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

John 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

John 5:8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

John 5:9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

 

 

Do Not Despair In Your Sickness And Pain.

Cry Out For Mercy, His Healing Mercy! Jesus Still Heals!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 1, 2013 at 7:46 am

Posted in Healing, Mercy

Tagged with , ,