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Archive for February 2014

For Now

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For Now

Today during rush hour, I noticed the license plate on the Toyota in front of me read, “For Now.” Evidently the owner had plans for a more luxurious vehicle in his future.

257_weiss_pepsi_lfn2The world’s message to young and old is to seize the moment. Live in the now.

For Now is a lifestyle to which most of us are accustomed. For example:

Paper And Plastic

Things made from paper and plastic were made to last mostly, for now. Paper plates are for temporary use. They quietly say that someday there will be china on the table. I’m only here for this one meal.

Some Jobs

Very few retire from a fast food job. They only took the job, for now, because the one they want is unavailable at this time. As soon as something better opens up, they are gone.

There are “Temp Employment Agencies” who specialize in the for now.

Some Relationships

Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go. They are the people you can like for now. Some day you hope to find a permanent person to love. It’s called marriage. Sadly, there are even some twisted people who rationalize that marriage is only a for now thing.

Some Homes

Real Estate Brokers sell starter homes. They don’t expect the buyer to grow old there. Those houses are for newlyweds getting a start in life. They are for now.

A Rent House is where you live for now. It’s what you have till you can buy your own house.

Even Motels

Motels are for those needing a place to sleep for now.

Sins Pleasures

Moses chose to identify with the people of God, than with the house of Pharaoh. He understood that sin’s pleasures were only for now, and then they would vanish.

Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

  1. Adulterers live in a for now world.
  2. Alcoholics, drug users and abusers are addicted to the for now feeling.

Saints of old sang: “This World Is Not My Home, I’m Just A Passing Through.” They were not focused on the for now.

 

Bible Illustrations

Israel was content to dwell in the for now, whether that was in Egypt or the Wilderness. She had to be pushed into the Promised Land.

Esau willingly traded his most valuable possession for a bowl of pottage. His eternal birthright was swapped straight across for something that would make him happy for now. He lost his forever in his quest for now.

Demas was once the Apostle Paul’s travel companion and fellow laborer. His thoughts turned from things above to began to the world around him. He chose to live in the for now, and abandon any hope of the forever.

 

The Song Writer

Jennie Wilson words that have lasted for scores of years. She warned us all to build our hopes on things eternal.

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“Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand”

Words: Jennie Wilson.

Music: Franklin L. Eiland

 

1. Time is filled with swift transition,

Naught of earth unmoved can stand,

Build your hopes on things eternal,

Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

       

Refrain:

        Hold to God’s unchanging hand,

        Hold to God’s unchanging hand;

        Build your hopes on things eternal,

        Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

 

2. Trust in Him who will not leave you,

Whatsoever years may bring,

If by earthly friends forsaken

Still more closely to Him cling.

 

3. Covet not this world’s vain riches

That so rapidly decay,

Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures

They will never pass away.

 

4. When your journey is completed,

If to God you have been true,

Fair and bright the home in glory

Your enraptured soul will view.

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Troubles Are Temporary. They are For Now Moments.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

2 Corinthians 4:17 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Paul Challenged Us To Not Let the For Now Separate Us From Him.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 22, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Christian Living

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What Happens When Galaxies Collide?

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What Happens When Galaxies Collide?

What happens when the gravitational pull of one Galaxy overwhelms another? In the world of suns, moons, planets, stars, and galaxies, the answer is not a positive one.

The same is true in the lives of Apostolic men and women. When our carnal world collides with our Spiritual World, what happens? Are there ever any survivors?

Some attempt to maintain the two orbiting worlds of Spirit and Flesh simultaneously, but it never has a happy ending. There will always be a collision.

Matthew 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.

Especially in the last days, we all have all seen an abundance of human failures. May God help us all to order our worlds aright!

 

Galaxy4

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

The Galaxy With Stronger Gravity Pulls The Weaker Galaxy Into Itself

The Galaxy With Stronger Gravity Pulls The Weaker Galaxy Into Itself

opo9734i65464156galaxies collidecollidinggalaxies

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Christian Living

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What Would Pentecostals Post On Facebook If This Were 70 Years Ago?

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What Would Pentecostals Post On Facebook If This Were 70 Years Ago?

k-bigpicI’m sure I don’t really know. It’s a crazy supposition, for certain. But what if there had been Internet and Facebook? What kind of posts would we read from friends and family in our FB news feed?

First of all, I am not sure how many would have even been on any social media. Some, in the 1940’s, regularly warned of the worldly influence of radio in Christian homes. Television was called a one-eyed monster.

Secondly, the whole world was at war. The saints of old actually believed they were living in the last days and most of them acted accordingly.

Thirdly, many of them had survived the great depression. Most had little money or possessions. Christ and the Church became the center of their lives.

With this in mind allow me to extract comments and excerpts from my family’s letters and wire recordings (Wire recorders preceded Cassette and Tape Recorders.) made during that same time frame.

I am sure they would have made the same type of affectionate greetings to family and friends.

We would have also read:

  • Victory reports of revival and new church plantings
  • Updates on our children and grand children’s lives
  • Recipes and sewing tips
  • But most assuredly, there would have been much talk about the coming of the Lord, the end time, Heaven, and the importance of being ready

Here are some comments taken from Carl Ballestero’s (my father) letters to Bro. Harvey Davis during WWII.

     1.    “I write to you, Harvey, as Jonathan would to David, with nothing but love and honor in my heart for you.  I know nothing of your failures, (I have enough of my own, for we all are unprofitable servants), but I looked for Jesus in you, and bless His dear Name, I found Him in you in a very pleasing way. It really isn’t hard to see our Jesus in one another, if we would but look for Him.

2.    “As I was sitting at the table thinking of what you said about going all out for Jesus, (you spoke my heart) and it seemed then, how few really want to see things done for God. Most people will go places for God when things are going good and when the message is popular, but only a handful are possessed with the “Jesus passions” for lost souls and genuine red-hot Holy Ghost revival fire to sweep not only their own hearts, but the whole community as well. I pray that God will give us a “go-through” spirit.

     3.    “May the Lord melt us and take away all bitterness from our hearts, for His Name’s sake.

     4.    “We’re strangers here, not wanted, not loved by man, we have a Heavenly City, not made with hands, and One ever beckons to the weary, tempted and tried pilgrims to “Come out from among them and be ye separate” for this world is not their home.

     5.    “Yes, there is hardly a preacher in Pentecost who doesn’t know how far short of the Apostolic power we are. Oh, it is true that we have the Gospel, but then too, “The letter killeth.” It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.” It takes more than plain good preaching to get people saved. It takes the signs following you spoke about.

     6.    “…But then may we now say, not “Where is the God of Elijah,” but “Where is the Elijah of God.”

 

     7.    “We, as young ministers could blame the preachers before us for this pitiful state of God’s Body, (and we would not be too far from wrong for they have not been altogether blameless), but we have a wall to build, whether we are the men to do the job or not, I am certain God is pleased that the thought is in our hearts. Let us therefore set our minds to the immense task that lies before us, and consecrate, humble, deny and keep under the Blood every fiber of our being that we might be of a truth, “The apple of God’s eye.” Surely He cannot help but bless that one who has determined to make his time God’s time, who realizes that his members are God’s temple, his very life and breath, a loan from a loving Friend who sticks closer than any brother.

     8.    “I can truthfully say, that my joy is to do the will of my Father in Heaven, yes, that is also my meat, it sustains me, gives me life, for Jesus is truly the “Bread of Life.”

 

     9.    “Let us evermore come to Him that we might have life and that more abundantly. Jesus said, “Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life.” We have life from Him, Brother, but not many have that abundant life, the holy and sanctified breath of God in them that makes giants out of weaklings, that makes heroes out of cowards, that makes intercessors out of sluggards, yea, that makes mighty, prevailing, unconquerable, rugged, self-denying Gospel and Gift entrusted Christian men and women who can move the mountains of sin in the abominable generation of our day.

     10.“What then shall we do? Shall we be sorry for our faults, or defeats? No, not sorry, but rather repent. It is harder to get a Pentecostal person to repent than a rank sinner. Yes, repent and launch out into the deep, for surely hell will be full of sorry people.

     11.“Most of my time is spent in the study of God’s Word. I now am spending more time in prayer that He first might make it burn in my heart so that I can preach it from the very depths of my soul with His fire and unction. I have a wonderful book entitled “The Preacher and Prayer” by Bounds, and if I can’t find any in the bookstores, I’ll send you mine. Marvelous truth! It will fire your passion for souls and shake you into a prayerful attitude.

 

     12.“My typewriter has been in hock for a few weeks now, so that explains the pen and ink. I pawned it so that I could buy a turkey for New Year’s Day. I am sending you all the money we have, but my Father is rich, and “I shall not want”, for truly, with food and raiment, the love of God in my heart, the hunger for more of Him and for others to know Him is more than I deserve, and if I cannot say like Paul, “I have learned …” I can say “I am learning to be content in whatsoever state I am in.”

     13.“Your letter touched my heart, just made me love you so, and cry, so I just had to write you these few lines. (It doesn’t seem many to me, for they flow from my heart.) If I have ever said or done anything to harm or hinder you, please forgive me, as I do want to make Heaven my home. If I have, it was not by choice, from my head, but not my heart.

     14.“We send our love to each of you, pray daily for you.

 

     15.“Other than what I’ve mentioned, in these dark and bewildering days, all that we have to look forward to is the coming of Jesus to deliver us from this body of death. The supposedly strong ones among us have forsaken our God and their cross and left the lambs to continue on with faltering step. It seems that those who really desire to pay the price and go through must do so amidst the railings of those who make a mock of sin, who have no confidence in Christianity, (and why should they have?) Yet, still the love and the Spirit of God pulls our feet homeward, saying “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

     16.“When I listen to good preachers, I begin to wonder if I’ve missed my calling or not, but when I see the way people are failing God, and faith has vanished; when I see the holy standard of Jesus Christ dragged in the gutter, and a bunch of old reprobates who live in sin, and brag about all their wonderful results, and claim to be the “fathers” of this Jesus Name movement, I take courage and make an attempt at preaching anyway,


      17.“Lose your money, lose your reputation, lose your car and all your possessions, but don’t lose your character, don’t lose the anointing of God, don’t lose your soul

     18.“There’s no place like the everlasting arms of Jesus when one is burdened, over-weighted with much sorrow, and about ready to abandon ship.

     19.“I would rather burn out for God than rust out.

     20.“I’m praying for you almost every night without fail. Might have missed you once or twice, but you’re usually upon my heart for your love and fellowship means so much to me.

Bro. Ike Terry’s Comments To My Mother, Connie Ballestero:

  • “Sister Connie, I want to share with you a brand new One God Scripture that I found   today…”

 

Various Saints From The Bakersfield Church To My Mother:

  •  “They carried me home drunk on the Holy Ghost last night. 
  • “We had an all night prayer meeting.
  • “My husband finally got the Holy Ghost during this revival, Hallelujah!

 

  1. If any of the old saints had slipped off to a movie, or read a questionable book they would they have posted it or talked about it openly?
  2. How much Sports talk would have been posted?
  3. What photos would they post?
  4. How much flesh would be on display?
  5. How much would be written about Church, God and Christian living?

 

There would still have been fun and fellowship on the news feed of the 1940’s FB I’m sure, but I would like to think the Coming of the Lord and the End Time would have never strayed from the main focus.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

If You Really Believed Jesus Was Coming Soon…

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If You Really Believed Jesus Was Coming Soon…

What Would You Do?

I grew up in a generation accustomed to hearing sermons about the coming of the Lord. Since I was born during World War II, my parents truly believed they were in the last days and did their best to live and pray accordingly.

My Mother said that when I was born she never dreamed the Lord would tarry long enough for me to even start Kindergarten, but that was 70 years ago.

No one knows the day or the hour that He will come again. Yet, everything within me chooses to focus on the hope that today will be the day.

When I proposed to my beloved, we settled on the date of August 28, 1965. However, within weeks of our engagement, we heard a series of sermons on the coming of the Lord. We moved our wedding up to August 14, to beat the rapture… and we did.

Desert Storm brought backsliders back by the droves. Some of them didn’t wait for the preaching, but walked straight from the door to the altar. After the scare of the war was gone, so were they.

The reality is, folks who don’t believe that the return of Jesus is imminent, have a tendency to live like He is not coming soon.

If I really believed that Jesus was coming, what would I do? How would I respond to that news?

________________________________________________________

Imagine: If the Lord loved you dearly enough to give you a private ‘heads up’ that He was coming back for His church in one week, what would you do? How would you plan each day in preparing for the rapture?

These are quite possibly some things that I would do. Not necessarily in this particular order.

________________________________________________________

 

Day One – I Would Really Repent!

The first thing I would do is repent to God for everything I have done, said, thought or felt. I would repent for my wrong spirit, my bad attitude and every thing I can think of that would be displeasing to the Lord.

·      I wouldn’t just pray, I would pray through.

·      I mean really pray through.

·      Not just a two-dollar tune-up but rather a complete major over haul.

When I finished, I would look in my mirror and see if I could find anything about the way I looked or the way I dressed that was displeasing to Him. I would make sure that my body was not adorned with things the Bible warned me about that would keep me from going up.

·      I would walk through my house and remove anything and everything that had a carnal base or worldly flavor and influence upon it.

·      I would make sure that every music album in my house would be something He would approve of.

·      I would not want any thing in my house that I would not want Jesus to see or hear.

·      I would clean my closet and remove anything I would not want to be wearing when Jesus came.

·      I would look at my magazines and books.

·      If I found anything that I didn’t want to be in my hand when the rapture took place, I would throw away.

I Would Repent. I Mean, Really Repent… Jesus Is Coming!

 

Day Two – I Would Apologize To My Brother And Sister In Christ!

·      I would quit fighting with my brother and sincerely apologize.

·      Even if I thought he was the one that should be apologizing first.

·      I would choose not to be offended any more.

·      I would ask him to forgive me for everything I had done and said.

And, if I had taken anything from him, I would restore it and pay extra for damages and them give him the Biblically required usury.

·      I would tell him that I loved him.

·      I would strive for unity in the Body of Christ.

I Would Want To Love My Neighbor As Myself… Jesus Is Coming!

 

Day Three – I Would Consecrate Like Never Before

·      I would surrender my will to His Will.

·      I would humble myself before the Lord.

·      I would pray, not my will but Thine be done.

·      I would no longer have a problem with Pastoral authority.

·      I would ask my pastor if he saw anything in me I needed to change or improve before the Lord came.

·      I would no longer have a problem with Doctrine.

·      I would no longer have a problem with Holiness Standards.

·      I would make sure that my attitude towards the things of God was right.

I Want My Heart To Be Right… Jesus Is Coming!

 

Day Four – I Would Focus On My Church Attendance

·      I would make sure I made it to the mid-week services.

·      I would get there early for prayer.

·      I would sit as close to the front as I could.

·      I would worship like I never had before.

·      I would sing with all my heart.

·      I would sing loud and clap my hands and say Amen.

·      During the invitation, I would come to the altar and pray with seekers.

·      I would even ask if I could sing in the choir. (I would like to be singing in the choir when the Lord comes.)

I Would Put My Heart Into Having Church… Jesus Is Coming!

 

Day Five – I Would Gather My Family Around Me

I would apologize and express my love to my spouse. I would speak gentle and loving to the members of my home.

·      I would apologize for all the arguments and harsh words that caused hurt feelings.

·      I would apologize to my children.

·      I would apologize to my parents.

·      I would apologize to my siblings.

·      I would apologize to my in-laws.

·      I would adjust my grumpy attitude.

I Would Wrap My Family Up In Love… Jesus Is Coming!

 

Day Six – I Would Have A Financial Review

·      I would go through my bills and make sure they were paid.

·      I would look at my Pay Check Stubs and my W-2’s and then look in my check book to make sure I was current with my tithes and offerings.

If Not, I Would Catch Up and Add The Biblically Required Twenty Percent To My Tithe… Jesus Is Coming!

 

Day Seven – I Would Wake Up In A Panic Thinking About The Lost!

At daybreak I would be at my friend’s house inviting myself to teach him a home Bible Study.

I would scramble around all day looking for every relative I could talk to and every acquaintance doing my best to talk to them about the coming of the Lord.

I Would Try To Take Everyone I Could To Heaven With Me… Jesus Is Coming!

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So… What would you do if you believed Jesus was coming? Would you change anything about the way you live, talk, think, act, dress or believe?

Would you correct the things in your life that need correcting?

Would you do everything in your power to be ready for That Day?

Then Just Do It. He Really Is Coming!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 8, 2014 at 10:04 am