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Archive for December 2013

Warning! Backsliding Is Not Fun!

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Warning! Backsliding Is Not Fun!

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

 

Backsliding Is Not Fun!

It’s the most painful choice a child of God can ever make. It’s hard! Backsliding is so dangerous that even if it was the last thing in the world to consider, it should never be an option.

Have you ever listened to new converts tell how happy they are to find this Pentecostal, Holy Ghost experience? They tell how empty they were before and how long they searched for happiness while in sin.

Even after listening to their testimonies, some foolish church members look at sinners and think maybe they are missing out on something. So they walk away from the greatest life in the world to enjoy sins pleasures. Pleasure that only last for a season.

Walking away from God will never be fun and games. Before you walk out on God, take another look at the warning signs.

 

1. Warning! Life Away From God Is Empty!

·      Saul spent 40 years learning to live without God.

·      Psalm 16:11  … in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

2. Warning! Your Life Will Not Turn Out As Planned.

·      Expect the worst!

·      It’s going to be unpleasant and hard!

·      Proverbs 13:15 …the way of transgressors is hard.

3. Warning! One Of The First Things That ‘Takes A Hit’ Is The Backsliders’ Marriage!

·      2 Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

4. Warning!  Backsliders Are Hard To Reason With! They’re Hard Headed!

·      Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways:

·      Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me:

5. Warning! Backsliders Will Get Caught In Their Own Sin Trap!

·      Proverbs 11:6 …but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

6. Warning! The Way Of Transgressor Is Hard!

·      Divorce.

·      Babies born out-of-wedlock.

·      STD’s.

·      Drugs.

·      Addictions.

·      Jail time.

·      Financial losses.

·      Damaged reputation at home and among acquaintances.

·      Shame.

·      Embarrassment.

·      Dragging your family and friends down with you. If you ever recover, they might not.

·      Rationalizing and justifying your sins.

·      Alienated from God.

7. Warning! Backsliders Are Wasters.

·      The Prodigal Son

·      Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

8. Warning! Some Old Testament Backsliders Didn’t Go Unpunished!

·      Cain

·      Esau

·      Lot’s Wife

·      Balaam

·      Aaron’s Sons

·      Eli’s Sons

·      Saul

9. Warning! God May Let You Go Unprotected While You Are Astray!

·      “Like a lamb in a large place.” A Shepherd doesn’t normally turn lamb loose in the wilderness to fend for itself.

·      God will allow you to be vulnerable to the wolves of sin when you go astray.

·      Hosea 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place.

·      The safest place to be is in His fold, not turned loose.

·      Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

10. Warning! Repentance Is A God Provided Privilege, Not Something You Can Do On A Whim!

·      No one gets to repent unless God grants him or her the privilege.

·      Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

What Are The Chances Of A Backslider Wanting To Recover?

·      What are the chances of God letting them recover?

·      If God is willing to give a backslider another chance, they should not wait another moment.

·      God knows how to build a custom-made prayer room for backsliders.

If a backslider speaks critical of the pastor, the standards, or the saints – I see little hope.

If they admit they are not in church, but say if they ever got back in church, they would come back home… I see much more hope.

Now For The Good News! Every Backslider Can Be Healed!

·      Jeremiah 3:22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.

·      1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Start The New Year Out Right. Get Your Walk With God Back On Track!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Backsliders

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Got Any Rivers?

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Got any Rivers you think are Uncrossable?

raging-river-image

 

Got any Mountains you can’t Tunnel through?

 

 gold-prospector

 

God Specializes in things called Impossible.

Jesus_Walking_on_Water

RH-MosesCrossesRedSea

Miracles_RaiseLazarus

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And He will do what no other Power can do!

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Posted in Faith, Trust

Tagged with ,

The First Lesson Grace Teaches.

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The First Lesson Grace Teaches.

Some choose to put words in the mouth of Grace. They connect her with some things she has never been connected. It is as though they bring up her name every time an accusatory finger of God’s word is pointed towards them. They think Grace is their ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card in life.

Maybe we need to look at the things Grace teaches and what she doesn’t teach. Most of us could use a clearer understanding of what Grace says and what she doesn’t say. We also need to know what she does and what she doesn’t do.

 

What Some Think Grace Says, But What She Would Never Say:

1. Do Whatever You Want, It’s OK.

2. Every Thing Is Acceptable Now Days. This Is A new Day.

3. Live Like You Want Because God Overlooks Everything. We Are Under Grace.

4. There Are No Restrictions.

5. You Aren’t Bound By Standards; You Are Not Under The Law.

6. Only A Legalist And Ultra-Con Would Give You A List Of What Not To Do.

7. God Doesn’t Look On The Outside; He Only Looks Upon The Heart.

 

What Grace Actually Does Say:

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Titus 2:12   Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

This Is The Very First Lesson IN Our Christian Experience That Grace Teaches Us:

 

I. What To Deny

1.    Deny Ungodliness

2.    Deny Worldly lusts

 

II. How To Live

1.    Righteously

2.    Soberly

3.    Godly

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Those Unlearned In The Scriptures, Think They Are Justified By Grace In Their Carnality, And Turn The Grace Of God Into Lasciviousness.

las⋅civ⋅i⋅ous

 

adjective

Driven by lust; preoccupied with or exhibiting lustful desires

syn: lewd, libidinous, lustful

Jude 4    For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

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“turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness”

They twisted the meaning of Grace to justify their flesh and their lusts.

Whoever claims Grace as their Teacher learns first to deny everything that is ungodly and lustful, and then to refuse to let those things have access into their hearts.

IF, they say that Grace is their Teacher, and do what she teaches, they WILL live Righteous, Soberly, and Godly in this present world.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 24, 2013 at 1:44 am

Posted in Grace

Tagged with

My Dear Friends The Tim Thomas Trio Have Done It Again!!

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 17, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Posted in Praise, Worship

Tagged with

“Mom, Can I Use This Pan To Put Dirt In?”

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“Mom, Can I Use This Pan To Put Dirt In?”

Columbus, IN 1954…

“Mom, can I use this pan to put some dirt in? Me and Bobby Hungate are playing with our trucks in the back yard and we need something to put dirt in so we can move it.” I asked, holding a big shiny pan in front of me so Mom could see.

379620407_687I was in the fourth grade at Clifty Elementary School in Columbus, Indiana. The Hungate family lived across the street and their son Bobby was my good friend. We had already dug more holes in my back yard that day than two dogs looking for buried bones.

My Mother turned from her ironing board and looked at me as though she was surprised I would even ask.

“You certainly cannot, young man! That is my good pan. I fix stews, mashed potatoes, corn on saucepanthe cob and gumbo in the big pan. We sure don’t put dirt in our cooking pans. Now, you go look under the kitchen sink and find the old pan that has the blackened bottom. The handle is cracked on it too. Use that pan and when you are done with it, we will scrub it clean together.”

I replied meekly with a yes ma’am. I did as I was told. Later, Mom made me wash and scour the pan under her eagle eye supervision. This was my first introduction into the proper use of pans from a Mother’s point of view.

Columbus, IN 1956…

“Mama, Pandy’s dish got cracked and broken and I need to feed her tonight. This pan is all I can find. Is it OK to feed the dog out of this pan tonight?”

I held the big shiny pan out in front of me so Mom could see which pan I meant. She put down the evening newspaper and folded it on her lap. She then spoke to me without smiling.

“Son!  That’s my good pan! You cannot use that one and you should know better than to ask. My family eats out of that pan, I’ve already told you. I cook with that pan every day.

“We don’t put dirt in that pan, and we sure don’t feed the dog out of that pan. I am shocked that you would even think that was acceptable in this house.

“Go back under the sink and find that same pan you used to put dirt in. Feed the dog tonight out of that pan. You will have to scrub it with Ajax Scouring Powder and bleach it when you’re done. We’ll get Pandy a new dog dish tomorrow.”

I scrubbed that old pan and rinsed it many times that night before it met with Mother’s approval.

South Bend, IN 1962…

“Mom, I am changing the oil in my car. I can’t find a pan big enough in the garage. Would it be OK to use this pan to change my oil in?” I asked hesitantly, while holding the big shiny pan towards her so she could see.

She put her hands on her hips and looked at me like I was from Mars. I knew I was in big trouble.

“What’s wrong with you? You just don’t get it do you? That is my GOOD pan!” she said with great emphasis on the word ‘good.’

“We eat food from that pan everyday. That is my favorite pan. We don’t put dirt into that pan! We don’t feed the dog from that pan – even if he is a rare White or Albino German Shepherd mix that cost us quite a bit as a puppy! We sure don’t change the oil in that pan. Do you understand me?”

I immediately regretted asking. Nodding meekly I said, “Yes Ma’am. I’m sorry.”

“Now go back under the sink and find that old pan with the broken handle and blackened bottom. Use that one and when you’re done with it this time, just throw it away.”

Mama’s Life Lesson

She taught me that some things are set-aside for just one purpose. Oh sure, they can be used for another purpose if we choose. However, using a container for something other than what it was intended to be used for just ruins the purity of its purpose.

Our body is a vessel. It is meant to be set apart for His use, and His use only. God created our vessel to be a container filled with His Spirit and His Love. Sure, we can put drugs, alcohol and nicotine and worldliness in it if we choose. But, doing so just defiles the vessel.

*Something That Is Set Aside For One Purpose Has A Name.

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Merriam Webster

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanctify

sanc·ti·fy

1:  to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use :  consecrate

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Being Set Apart For A Sacred Purpose Is Called Being Sanctified.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

1 Thessalonians 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

Note: If there is no Sanctification in your life, there will an absence of Honor as well.

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Like I did as a child and teenager, many are asking their Mother (The Church) if it is OK if they use their life’s vessel to put the dirt of the world in. Once you have gotten comfortable with its dirt, there will be no stopping.

Some in this permissive church age never give up asking and trying to see how much they can get away with. Their mindset is all about pleasing themselves and not focusing on pleasing God.

If you have the Holy Ghost, then your life’s vessel has been set apart unto God for His use, His glory and His service. By defiling your life, your body and your mind with worldly things, you have just dirtied the very vessel God wanted to serve a hungry world from. He will get no glory from what is in your dirtied vessel.

Remember, you are not your own. You have been bought with a price. You are His vessel. You have been set apart. You are to be sanctified unto Him.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Posted in Christian Living, Holiness

Tagged with

Do You Smell Like Jesus, Or Do You Just Stink At Being A Christian?

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Do You Smell Like Jesus, Or Do You Just Stink At Being A Christian?

Can you pass the smell test? The sense of smell is one of our five natural senses. Sometimes we use the smell test in order to determine if things around us are okay or if the food is spoiled. This is nothing new.  God has been using the smell test for a long time.  He knows the difference between a stench and a sweet smell.

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KJV

2 Cor. 2:14-17

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

sweetsmell

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NKJV

2 Cor. 2:14-17

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

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ESV

2 Cor. 2:14-17

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,

16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

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NIV

2 Cor. 2:14-17

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

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The Message Bible

2 Cor. 2:14-17

14-16 In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

16-17 This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No— but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

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 What Do You Smell Like?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Christian Living

Tagged with