The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

Archive for January 2014

Whatever Happened To Carefulness?

with 28 comments

Whatever Happened To Carefulness?

Modern Pentecostalism, as a whole, seems to enjoy flaunting its perceived new liberties in the face of all caution. To them who have lived their whole lives in spiritual carefulness before God, this mindset is repulsive, dangerous and scary.

Why Does One Generation Feel Freer And Less Cautious Than Another?

  • Are they more enlightened in the Word?
  • Is this a New Day in the Kingdom of God?
  • Has God waited nearly 2,000 years to remove every Biblical principle and restriction?
  • Why are things considered right today that were wrong yesterday?
  • Are they backslidden in heart?
  • Why is there an absence of Holiness and things HOLY among those who profess the HOLY Ghost?

There is a horrible price to pay if what our forefathers said is right. Old school preachers said things like: “When you lose your revelation of Holiness, it won’t be long before you lose your revelation of the Oneness of the Godhead.” That dear reader is a very fearful thing.

It appears as if the spirit of the age is one that wants to see how much one can do and still feel saved and justified.

Too many church folks have been influenced by the style and fads of this present world.  Sadly, whatever the new style of the world is on display, it soon will be seen in some churches. It quickly appears in:

·      Men’s clothing

·      Men’s hairstyles

·      Men’s facial hair

·      Women’s clothing

·      Women’s hairstyles

·      And even makeup

  1. Can anyone else remember when it was uncommon to see Pentecostal women wearing form-fitting and revealing attire?
  2. Can anyone else remember new converts changing how they dressed and lived soon after they got saved?
  3. Can anyone else remember when makeup was not acceptable?
  4. Can anyone else remember when women considered long hair their glory?
  5. Can anyone else remember when men didn’t dress in a manner that questioned their masculinity?
  6. Can anyone else remember the day when Consecration services were not uncommon?
  7. Can anyone else remember when no one who claimed to be in church wanted to look like or dress like they were in the world?
  8. Can anyone else remember when there was an absence of facial hair on the men that were in the church?
  9. Can anyone else remember when no one heard of young girls kissing other young girls?
  10. Can anyone else remember when the saints lived their lives carefully, lest they displease the Lord?
  11. Can anyone else remember when saints were not addicted to prescription drugs?
  12. Can anyone else remember when TV was a bad word?
  13. Can anyone else remember when saints didn’t go to movies?
  14. Can anyone else remember when jewelry was not seen on church folks?
  15. Can anyone else remember when church services times were not scheduled around a Super Bowl Sunday?
  16. Can anyone else remember saints being careful about what they read, what they listened to, where they went and whom they went with?
  17. Can anyone else remember when folks repented to each other and before God because they wanted to be saved?
  18. Can anyone else remember hearing sermons on Hell and Judgment?

·      What changed?

·      Did God change?

·      If God changed, not everyone got the memo.

Carefulness Is Produced By Repentance.

That’s The First Thing True Repentance Does. It Makes You Careful.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

2 Corinthians 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

  1. Too many are not careful about giving God the tithe of their increase.
  2. Too many are not careful to manifest the Fruits of the Spirit.
  3. Too many are not careful about what they say, or whom they say it to.
  4. Too many are not careful about what comes into their homes.
  5. Too many are not careful to honor their parents.
  6. Too many are not careful to honor their pastor.
  7. Too many are not careful about their attendance to the House of God.
  8. Too many are not careful about their attitude.
  9. Too many are not careful to keep their marriage vows.
  10. Too many are not careful about their friend’s negative influences.
  11. Too many are not careful about where they allow themselves to go visit.
  12. Too many are not careful about the necessity of the Acts 2:38 Doctrine.

 

Sadly, We Have Gone From Carefulness To Carelessness.

I will have to answer to God some day. So, when I read verses such as these I feel cautioned to be careful.

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:

The Holy Spirit Warns Us All About The World’s Influence Upon The Church.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

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

I am sure most will continue to do as they please and feel very justified. That will be between you and the Lord on Judgment Day.

As For Me, I Choose To Finish My Days Walking Before The Lord As Carefully As I Can.

Oh, by the way, are you doing your best to be careful in your walk with God? If not, please join me.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 31, 2014 at 11:40 pm

The Body

with 4 comments

The Body

On The Street

Your friends, neighbors, the DMV, and the postman know you by your full name. Your Driver’s License says your official name is ‘John Doe.”

In The Hospital

As A Patient In Room 123:

Every attending nurse and doctor always verifies your name and even date of birth when the come into the room to check on you..

Sometimes your name is displayed on the room door.

When You Die:

You are no longer referred to by your name. You are now no longer ‘John Doe’ you are now just a body. Your identity changed.

The doctor pulls the sheet up over the face of ‘the body.’

They then call the morgue and have them pick up ‘the body’ in Room 123.

At A Crime Scene

The first thing the Homicide Detective wants to know when he arrives at a crime scene is, “Where’s the body?”

The Coroner does not examine Mr. John Doe, thinking this is Mr. John Doe! All he sees is a dead body.

Mr. Doe is then placed in a body bag and hidden from view.

In The Morgue

‘The body’ is placed on the slab.

Sometimes ‘the body’ is put into a refrigerated drawer.

At The Funeral Home

The Funeral Home sends a Driver to pick up ‘the body’.

It’s ‘the body’ that is embalmed. As far as we know, no one says, “Mr. Doe is embalmed,” he is now referred to as a body.

‘The body’ is dressed and placed in a casket.

At The Grave

The hearse drives ‘the body’ to the Cemetery.

After the graveside service, ‘the body’ is lowered into the ground.

‘The body’ is later covered with dirt.

Sometimes ‘the body’ is exhumed.

This Is Understood In The Natural Life,

It Happens Similarly In The Spiritual Life.

As Sinners

We are proud of our identity.

We proudly proclaim our heritage and those famous in our family tree.

We promote ourselves.

We do what we enjoy.

(Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.)

We fight to keep our identity.

We protect ourselves from identity theft.

We make cards to give to strangers with our name in bold letters.

We do our best to live as long as we can and enjoy life.

At The Altar Of Repentance

On the very first trip to the Altar of Repentance, we die.

We die out to sin.

We die out to self.

We die out the things of the world.

We die out to fleshly lusts.

We decrease so that He might increase.

In Water Baptism

We are buried with Him.

The old man dies and is buried.

When We Are Filled With The Holy Ghost

We take on a new identity.

We are no longer our own, we are bought with a price.

Now, it’s not about us, that no flesh should glory in His Presence.

Now we are part of The Body Of Christ.

We relinquished our old identity and receive a new one.

We are members of ‘The Body’.

We become Kingdom Minded.

We no longer are motivated to promote our flesh, but rather do all for the good of ‘His Body… The Body.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 29, 2014 at 12:20 am

The Day My World Wanted To Crash, But Couldn’t.

with 18 comments

The Day My World Wanted To Crash, But Couldn’t.

I sat on the side of my bed with our house phone against my left ear as I listened to my Dad’s voice. Tears were standing at ready in my eyes, just waiting for any reason to start flowing. It had been one of the worst days of my life.

I was already dressed for my Wednesday night Bible Study. The clock told me that I had only five minutes remaining before I needed to leave for church.

The sound of my Dad’s voice was the best medicine for my mind and soul at this moment. I didn’t tell him what the problem was, but he was very sharp and intuitive. He was a pastor in Sulphur, LA.

For the last eight hours or so I had sat in my pastor’s study at South Bend’s Christ Temple Apostolic Church trying to prepare for the service. Nothing seemed to make sense for me. Even with over 7,000 books in my library, I couldn’t seem to find anything that would prompt me. I read many chapters in the Bible and nothing stood out.

Well, to be honest, I focused primarily on me. I had felt like crying all day and I didn’t know why. I had the most wonderful wife and children a man could ever hope to have. I pastored a church full of people I loved and they were all so good to me.

the_world_crashes_down_by_friskeydomingo-d38ieg6Was I depressed? I didn’t want to think so. Was I dealing with condemnation? No. What was making me a basket case? Why was I on the verge of tears all day?

I tried praying and was grateful for a legitimate format for me to open up and cry in. What was the deal? What was wrong with me? Was I going through some mid-life crisis at 40 years old? I didn’t know.

Was I being overly hard and harsh on myself? Was I crying tears of disappointment because of un-achieved goals and dreams? I was afraid to think too long about that.

Who could I call and vent to? Who’s shoulder would be broad enough? I could think of no one that I wanted to burden down with my heavy load of negative feelings.

Was I out of the will of God? Was God dealing with me about something? Who knew? My self-pity was working overtime.

Even then as I sat on the side of the bed looking at the blank wall, things still weren’t making any sense. I have no memory of that ten-minute conversation of unimportant and mundane things until I said I had to go.

I had spent most of the time listening to my Father talk while I held the mouth piece of the old beige phone up high over my head in case I accidentally sniffled. I couldn’t let Dad hear me cry.

“ I gotta run Dad.” I finally said as I looked at the bedroom clock.

“I need to leave here in five minutes but I want you to know I love you and miss you.”

Then came the words that would turn my world around that night.

“I love you too son,” Dad said. “Remember this. Psa. 46:1 says that God is our refuge and strength. Don’t you ever forget that.”

I thanked him for that word, told him again that I loved him, said goodbye and picked up my Bible. As I walked out the backdoor, I looked up the Scripture passage and marked it with a ribbon.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

I visited the prayer room. No Biblical illustration came to mind that could even remotely connect that verse for me. My mind was blank. I really didn’t want to preach that night, and besides, I had nothing to preach. I was a mess.

I sat in my chair on the platform later listening to the prayers and praise of the good saints. I’m sure the worship was wonderful as usual, but I was just going through the motions. My mind was still searching for a character to illustrate the verse. What was I going to do? I didn’t know.

Finally, it was time for me to step to the pulpit. I made a few announcements and read Psa. 46:1 to the congregation while they still remained standing. When I finished, I invited them to be seated.

I announced my sermon title for the evening message. “God Is Our Refuge.” Then, I closed the Bible because there was nothing else there in the verse that could help me.

As soon as I said that God was our refuge, I was reminded of the fact that Job had a hedge around him that was placed there by God and Job didn’t even know it existed.

I pulled a folding chair up for me to sit in while I demonstrated the point. Then the word Hedge stood out to me. So I gathered several chairs around mine into a circle hoping to make a visible hedge.

I looked at the crowd and in a spirit of transparency said. “I don’t know if I am preaching tonight to you or to me. If I am just preaching tonight to me, you might as well go on home now, and I will do the same when I finish preaching this sermon.

My mind has no remembrance of what I said next or how it happened. In about three minutes, the saints began to worship and weep. I wept along with them. Then they began to shout and dance in the Holy Ghost. I shouted too. It became one of the most precious moves of the Holy Ghost we had enjoyed in many years. The service ended with victory in the camp and in our hearts.

There were no sermon notes for later reference, no recordings of the message. It was just a God moment. It was a gift from the Glory World.

I was privileged to understand more clearly what Paul meant when he said to Timothy that by preaching, he would save himself and them that heard him. It happened to me that night.

We all went home with Holy Ghost smiles on our faces. My heavy emotional load had been lifted. That verse came alive just for me, if for no one else. I willing claim it, quote it and stand upon it to this day.

That Was The Day The Day My World Wanted To Crash, But Couldn’t. Because God Truly Was My Refuge.

He’s Your Refuge Too! And In The Words Of My Late Father… “Don’t You Ever Forget It!”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm