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Inside Mercy’s House

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Mercy's House2

A Short Story for Young People

By

Martyn Ballestero Sr.

Edited By

Nila Marxer

© 2014 Martyn Ballestero Sr.

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission. Contact martyn238@aol.com

 

Dedication

I dedicate this story to my precious Grandchildren.
They all make me proud!

Kalyx Ballestero, Carlton Ballestero, Braden Ballestero,
Huntley Ballestero, Christyana Ballestero, Christian Ballestero, Caison Ballestero, Gentson Ballestero
Jeron Ballestero, Chloe Ballestero, Zion Ballestero
Garrison Hartzell, Cadence Hartzell, & Ainsley Hartzell

 

The First Paragraph:

“Shame stood there quietly in woods while the afternoon sun lazily highlighted his disheveled hair. His head hung down from sheer exhaustion. He didn’t feel like he could run another step. The birds had stopped singing momentarily to watch this unwelcome intruder as he looked for a place to sit down out of view of the path.”

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This free e-book is available in three formats. Click on the picture or the link to access and download the book from Dropbox. No registration or account is needed. Here’s the Dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h70uly3f9x5u75s/AAAg1mMKav0CCgAa6stWVyV7a?dl=0

 

There are three file types available.

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If you are having trouble, maybe these “how-to” links will help:

http://osxdaily.com/2012/03/25/transfer-mobi-epub-ebook-files-to-ipad/

http://askleo.com/how_do_i_download_and_read_a_pdf_ebook/

http://www.ehow.com/how_8230718_open-ebook-email-iphone.html

 

(If you need help or the link does not work, let me know. Blessings to all. – MJB)

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 24, 2014 at 2:34 am

Finding God In Your Failures

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Finding God In Your Failures

  1. 24:16 for a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:
  • Life is not over after the falling down; life is all about the getting back up.
  • We all need help, just need it in different areas.
  • We all can come from a setback to a comeback.
  • There is life after “death.”

My Failure Shows Me…

  1. My failure shows me that no one is exempt, not even me.
  2. My failure warns me there are things I need to immediately change in my life.
  3. My failure reminds me that my flesh is my biggest enemy.
  4. My failure can help me see what I need to fix to find God’s favor again.
  5. My failure is not my final chapter.

Why Do People Fail?   (Sometimes It’s A Combination Of Things.)

  1. A limited obedience of God’s word?
  2. A carless attitude toward temptation?
  3. eraser and word mistakesA pursuit of personal fleshly gratification?
  4. A failure to put God first?
  5. Blatant disobedience?

The Phases Of Failure

  1. The Reaction Phase
  • Shock – I can’t believe I did it.
  • Denial – Won’t admit full guilt. Blames others.
  • Blame Others – Like Adam blamed Eve.
  • Withdrawal – Hide in the bushes of shame, like Adam and Eve.
  • Fear – Of more failure
  • Anger – Mad at self, mad at own weaknesses.
  • Shame – Can’t face anyone.
  • Depression – I’m hopeless, I’ll never amount to anything.
  • Despair – I guess I’ll just give up. No use. It’s over!
  1. The Response Phase
  • Flight Response – Leave church, move away. (Quit church)
  • Faith Response – Have a desire and determination to be restored.

 Repentance – Restoration

  • God will give you a space to repent
  • God will give you an opportunity to repent (Spirit drawn)
  • If God has given up on you – He wouldn’t be reaching for you with a message even right now.

 

Don’t Give Up On Yourself!

Luke Chapter 15

  • The Good Shepherd – Type of Christ. He never gave up. He sought until He found the one lost sheep.
  • Lost Coin – Type of the Church – never gave up – swept until she found the lost coin.
  • Prodigal Son. Never gave up on the Father or himself. Came home.

 

What God Knows About My Failure

  1. God knows we’ll all fail.
  2. He knows we are flesh.
  3. He is ready to forgive a repentant sinner.
  4. His blood is ready to cover all of our transgressions.
  5. The Holy Ghost is prepared to renew and transform us.
  6. He sees beyond our failure.

Lessons I Should Learn From My Failure

  • There are no little sins.
  • Prayers of repentance change everything.
  • When we fail, God will forgive if we repent.
  • If we do sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
  • God can bring good out of the bad.

 

Failure Focus

  • Looks at the problem as a hopeless one.
  • Looks at the future with great fear.
  • Sees the only obstacles.
  • Assumes the worst.
  • Limits God’s ability to restore them fully.

Faith focus

  • Looks for a solution
  • Looks past the fear, never loses hope.
  • Sees the opportunity to recover and grasps it.
  • Assumes the best.
  • Believes God will.

 

Getting Past Your Failures

2 Timothy 2:25 in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if god peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

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

  • Really pray through.
  • Ask God to help you and deliver you.
  • Recognize the desire and spirit that caused your error.
  • Admit your sin.
  • Humble yourself.
  • Clear yourself with others.
  • Clear yourself with God.
  • Submit yourself to the Word of God.
  • Submit to the man of God.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Be faithful.
  • Accept God’s forgiveness
  • Ask God for guidance.
  • Get back up.

 

Why Does God Go Through The Trouble To Restore You?

  1. There Is A Reason God Has Dealt This Long With You.
  2. There Is A Reason – He Has Put Up With Your Failures.
  3. There Is A Reason – He Sends Conviction And Sermons.
  4. He’s Not Done With You!

 

Some Biblical Heroes Weren’t Perfect. We’re Not Either.

(Saying this doesn’t excuse our sin or give us permission to sin.)

  1. Abraham Lied
  2. Moses Got Mad
  3. David Was Immoral
  4. Peter Denied Jesus

It Was In Failure These People Found God.

  • The Woman Taken In Adultery
  • Thief On The Cross
  1. I’m Not Interested In What You Did, But…
  2. I Am Interested In What You Are Going To Do Now.
  3. So Get Up, Get Restored And Go On. You Can Do It.
  4. There Is Hope For You!

 

Life Is Not Over After The Falling Down; Life Is All About The Getting Back Up.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 11, 2014 at 10:57 am

All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

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All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

We have lived with the old saying, “All good things must come to an end.” I can sure understand the sentiment to some degree. On the other hand, the opposite is what I wish to think on today. All Bad Things Must Come To An End!

They will come to an end. You’ll see! It’s never an if question. It’s a when question! Troubles won’t last forever!

 

Psalm 30:5 … weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Job

  • God changed his circumstances and turned his world around,
  • Bad ThingsWhen he prayed for his friends.
  • What would it take to turn your world around?
  • All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

Joseph

  • Had to live without love, friends, trust, or hope.
  • Went from despair, to sitting on a throne in one day.
  • Don’t lose hope.
  • All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

David

  • In his cave of despair, he was surrounded by friends who had major problems too.
  • But he didn’t stay in the Cave forever.
  • God can single you out for a blessing in an impossible situation.
  • David wrote in Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
  • All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

All Bad Things Must Come To An End When Jesus Comes.

 

When Jesus Comes

Oswald J. Smith 1939

VERSE 1:
One sat alone beside the highway begging
His eyes were blind the light he could not see.
He clutched his rags, and shivered in the shadows.
Then Jesus came and bade His darkness flee.

CHORUS:
When Jesus comes the tempters power is broken.
When Jesus comes the tears are washed away.
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.

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Jesus Came On A Mission.

  • Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
  • Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
  • Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

 

When Jesus Came:

  • He Healed Blind Bartimaeus.
  • He Raised The Dead Boy Of Nain.
  • He Raised Jairus’ Daughter.
  • He Delivered The Man Who Dwelt In The Tombs.
  • He Fed The 5,000.
  • He Came Walking On The Water.
  • He Turned The Water Into Wine.

 

All Bad Things Must Come To An End When Jesus Speaks The Word.

 

The Storms Go Away

Murrell Ewing

 

Verse 1.

I’ll never forget that dark night at sea,

The stars hid their faces; there was no hope for me,

The waves lashed the boat, it was tearing apart.

The wins howled, “It’s Over,” fear gripped my heart.

Chorus

Where did the wind go, who stopped the rain?

I only remember just whispering His name,

So the storms don’t decide how long they will stay.

When the Master says, “That’s enough,” they just go away.

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Jesus Spoke The Word And Calmed The Storm.

  • He Will Speak To Your Storm Too.
  • Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
  • All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

He Spoke The Word And:

  • Lazarus Came Out Of His Grave.
  • Lepers Were Healed.
  • Sins Were Forgiven.
  • The Man At The Pool Of Bethesda Was Healed.

 

There Will Be No More Sea!

  • Revelation 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.
  • No More Separation.
  • No More Tidal Waves.
  • No More Shipwrecks.
  • No More Drowning’s.
  • No More Tsunamis.
  • No More Hurricanes.
  • All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

He Will Wipe Away All Tears.

  • Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
  • All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

All Bad Things Must Come To An End When You Come Into His Presence!

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

 

He’s The Prince Of Peace.

  • Peace Is His Kingdom, That Is Where He Reigns.
  • When You Live Where He Governs, All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

To You Who Have Faced:

  • Pain
  • Injuries
  • Rejection
  • Rumors
  • Crisis
  • Devastation
  • Divorce
  • Unfaithfulness
  • Betrayal
  • Bankruptcy
  • Failure
  • Addiction
  • Death Of A Loved One
  • Health Problems
  • Abuse
  • All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

 

You Will Survive Your “Night” Of Weeping!! I Promise!

  • Psalm 30:5 …weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
  • When All The Bad Things Come To An End… That’s When All The Good Things Begin.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Are You Worth Fighting For?

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Are You Worth Fighting For?

Kneeling_Warrior_lg

We have all heard uncomplimentary remarks by old timers about those people they considered

worthless and no good. They said things like:

  • “Ah, they’re not worth the lead it would take to blow…”
  • “They’re not worth their salt.”

We have all learned that helping some people can be an exercise in frustration and futility. In choosing our battles and those we fight for, where do we draw a line and fight? When do we throw in the towel?

Go To God’s Word And Examples For Guidance.

Moses – Israel

God was so angry at Israel because of their quickness to backslide, He wanted to kill them and start all over. He told His plan to Moses.

Exodus 32:31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

Moses knew the wickedness of Israel and although he could never justify their actions, he refused to give up on them. He told God; if You are going to blot them out, then just blot me out too. Moses fought for Israel even in their disobedience and wickedness.

Moses Persuaded God To Show Mercy.

Samuel – King Saul

1 Samuel 15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

1 Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

Saul was reckless in his life choices and was disobedient to God’s Word. Samuel, even with all his pristine character and godliness, could not help but cry for Saul. Saul wasn’t even crying for himself. Yet Samuel fought with tear all night long.

Pastors – Saints and Sinners

Certainly we can be grateful to live at a time when God’s Mercy is so readily available. Yet, in spite of this, a pastor’s job is never done. He does his best to keep fighting for every soul. He fights for those who want help. He even fights for those who don’t seem to be fighting for themselves.

There Is No Such Thing As A ‘Throw-A-Way Soul.”

Paul – Timothy

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

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

Paul’s advice to Pastor Timothy was, don’t be harsh. These sinful people are their own problem. They can’t blame anyone else but themselves. It just may be that God will let them repent and admit the truth about themselves. It may be that God will let them recover and be restored. So, don’t give up on them. Fight for them. They aren’t doing a very good job of fighting for themselves. They need you.

  • Fight for their souls.
  • Fight for their mercy.
  • Fight for their forgiveness.
  • Fight for their restoration.
  • Fight for their marriage.
  • Fight for their family.
  • Fight for their future.
  • Fight for their eternity.
  • Fight for them…

Remember:

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Are You Worth Fighting For? Absolutely!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm

The Anatomy Of A Spiritual Shutdown

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The Anatomy Of A Spiritual Shutdown

 

imagesWe read about government shutdowns. We all know of businesses that have shutdown.  Computer owners know about the shutdown button on their laptop.

Every child of God knows of a church member that appears to have shutdown. They no longer worship or pray as they did before. They’ve become unfaithful. A change has certainly taken place.

As a pastor and an evangelist, it has been my joy over the years to see people miraculously grow and develop in God. It has also been my heartache and frustration to see some self-destruct and lose their joy, their testimony, their good attitude and their hope of being used of God.

Watching the spiritual decline of a child of God is not an easy thing for one to see. Their choices of wrong friends become the first great influencing factor in their decline. The hearts and souls of their family, friends and the ministry, are made to ache.

“You can’t help those who don’t want help,” is a phrase quickly understood by friends, preachers and teachers. Parents are grieved, spouses are influenced, and children are almost always damaged as a result.

What is the cause? What happened to rob this person of their joy? What happened to rob this person of their respect for the things of God? What happened that would cause the flame of their spiritual fervor to go out?

I think the answer is found in the book of Psalms, Chapter One.

Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

 

Please Notice This Persons Progression Toward A Spiritual Shutdown.

  1. Walking
  2. Standing
  3. Sitting

 

1. Walking

Most would refer to their spiritual life, as their ‘Walk With God.” Too often unassuming and impressionable souls have walked in the Counsel of the Ungodly.

  • Who we listen to, always affects what happens to us.
  • It’s not long before we become a product of who they are and what they say.
  • The counsel of the ungodly will never bring anyone closer to God. Their advice will only bring devastation to spiritual progress.
  • If we claim to be spiritually minded, why would we ever seek advice from the Ungodly?
  • We must watch whom we walk with and whom we listen to.

2. Standing Still

If we listen to the advice of the Ungodly, then we quickly become the stumbling block that prevents sinners from finding God.

What started out as a Walk, has changed into a Standing still.  We become a roadblock of sorts.

The Apostle Paul recognized the powerful influence of the wrong people in our lives. He confronted the issue directly in his letter to the Galatians.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Paul made it very clear that it is the Who and not the What that gives us the biggest problems in living for God. People, more than Things bring negative influences into our thinking.

3. Sitting (With A Bad Attitude)

I promise you by all that’s holy, that by allowing our Walk to include the Counsel of the Ungodly, our Walk with God is brought to a standstill. What happens next is so sad. We won’t standstill for very long. We’ll soon find a place to sit down. This is the most grievous of the three positions.

If We Sit in The Seat Of The Scornful, We Will Soon Be:

  • Critical Of The Church,
  • Critical Of It’s Standards,
  • Critical Of It’s Preachers
  • Critical Of The Saints.
  • Uncooperative,
  • Uninvolved,
  • Joyless
  • A Hindrance To Revival.
  • Without The Blessings Of God.
  • Backslidden In Heart.
  • A Negative Influence On All Those Around Us.

 

The Change Is Subtle At First, Then Very Obvious At The End.

 

Remember the young man who helped the Apostle Paul for a while? He is first listed as a Fellow laborer, or some one who worked shoulder to shoulder with Paul. In the next mention, he is referred to as an also ran… ‘and Demas.’ Lastly, Paul announces the absence of Demas. Demas had a spiritual shutdown.

 1. Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. (Philemon 1:24)

 

2. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. (Colossians 4:14)

 

3. For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)

What Are The Chances Of Recovery From A Shutdown?

(How Many Do We Know That Have Changed From Sullen To Joyful?)

 

I Truly Pray That All Men And Women Will Be Able To Recover Themselves If They Want To!

Paul told Timothy how to deal with these people in the hope they would recognize and admit their wrong doings, and if they did, maybe, just maybe, God would give them repentance.

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

God Promises Some Amazing Things Here:

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 

1. If we will HUMBLE ourselves,

2. PRAY

3. SEEK GOD’S FACE – (Which includes WORSHIP)

4. TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS

THEN…

5. He will HEAR our prayer. (God will take us off ‘hold’ status and listen to us pray.)

6. He will FORGIVE OUR SINS

7. HEAL OUR LAND – (Bless our finances)

If You Have Experienced Spiritual Shutdown…

You Can Find Restoration And Once Again Experience The Joy Of The Lord!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm

If I Were The Devil

with 3 comments

 

 

“If I Were the Devil…”

by

Paul Harvey, 1965

I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I would have one-third of the real estate and four-fifths of the population , but I wouldn’t be happy until I had the ripest apple on the tree. So I’d set about, however necessary, to take over the United States get important realtors like burnaby real estate and others to help me win USA and Canada.

I’d subvert the churches first; I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”

To the youth I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” [our note: I heard this from a humanities instructor when I was in college–a breeding ground for the sowing of wickedness into the minds of those that have to memorize blasphemy in order to pass the course and get out and go past conscience to continue doing what they are told.]

I would convince them that man-made God [our note: in college in a philosophy “class” I was told the lie, “There is no God.” That was a lesson in lies.] instead of the other way around.

I would confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is “square.”

In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing [our note: Americans are pleasure-loving people. Some are obese from lack of work meanwhile others pay somebody to mow the grass while they go to the “Fitness Center.” The children sit in school all day and then in front of the tv for hours on end in the midst of broken-down toys and eating processed foods full of refined sugar. The children do not work. They have no skills. The body and mind need to be involved in work. We were not made to be idle. A day of productivity is satisfying to both young and old.], that cocktail parties are good for you.

And to the old I would teach to pray after me: “Our Father, who art in Washington…” [our note: America seems to become more communist by the second.]

And then I’d get organized; I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that everything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

I’d threaten television with dirtier movies and vice versa.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could; I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction; I’d tranquillize the rest with pills.

If I were the Devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the Devil I’d encourage schools to refine young intellects [our note: the schools disrupt and destroy young intellects and parents look on in horror as their children disintegrate before their very eyes. Parents need to REPENT of the sins and BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and OBEY his word and then they can be saved and rear their children correctly.] but neglect to discipline emotions: let those run wild. Before you know it, you’d have to have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every school-house door. Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing.

With flattery and promises of power I would get the courts to do what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography.

I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get the preachers to say, “She’s right.” Thus, I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the Houses of Congress.

And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys, girls, and church money.

If I were the Devil I would make the symbol of Easter [our note: Easter is a pagan festival] an egg and the symbol of Christmas [our note: “Christmas” is a blasphemy] a bottle.

If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give it to those who want it, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What’ll you bet that I couldn’t get whole States to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I would caution against extremes: in hard work, in patriotism, and in moral conduct.

I would convince the youth that marriage is old-fashioned, but swinging is more fun; that what you see on television is the way to be; and thus I could undress you in public and I could lure you into bed where there are diseases for which there is no cure.

Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.

In other words, if I were the Devil, I’d just keep doing what he’s doing.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Can You Pass The Hurt Test?

with 13 comments

Can You Pass The Hurt Test?

Dave sat on the bar stool, drinking with some buddies from work. His head was feeling a little light. He drank enough beers to loosen up his tongue, and he began to talk. “If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t have a decent church building.

“I mowed the grass every week without ever being paid. I replaced all the broken window panes with money out of my own pocket. I never asked to be reimbursed. I hauled off all the trash, free of charge. I was the self-appointed janitor and maintenance man of the church. I did it for years, willingly and without pay.

“Every evening I would stop by the church when I got off work to see if I needed to fix anything. I’ve kept the church building repaired and I’ve kept it clean for years. No one has ever paid me a dime to do anything. Why, even last summer, instead of taking my family on a vacation, I used the money to buy shingles and I roofed the church by myself. I paid for every dime of it too!

“Then two weeks ago, they had a business meeting. They needed to choose another Trustee. My name never even came up. After all I’ve done, no one seemed to appreciate it enough to mention my name.

“What’s a man got to do to get recognized or be a Trustee over there? It must be politics or something. That’s why I’ve quit going to that church.”

Dave backslid because he couldn’t pass the Hurt Test!

 

Lynn wrote the Pastor a check to purchase 20 beautiful white folding tables and 160 matching folding chairs for the church fellowship hall.

It brought Lynn much joy to be able to buy these. God had blessed her and she wanted to give something back. The pastor had recognized her gift from the pulpit and the congregation clapped their approval. Lynn smiled.

The tables and chairs were ordered and everyone at the church was excited. These were well made and expensive.

Just before they arrived, Lynn had to be out-of-town for three weeks. When she returned and stopped by the church, she didn’t like where the tables and chairs had been stacked. She especially didn’t like how they had been stacked. Her gift to the church was being treated with carelessness, she thought.

These tables and chairs were not cheap, and if the people of this church didn’t appreciate her sacrifice enough to treat it any better than this, then she just could go to another church.

Lynn moved on because she couldn’t pass the Hurt Test!

 

The Hurt Test, Part 1 – Insults

The Syrophenician woman stood in front of Jesus. She was breaking custom and protocol and she knew it. The Jews had nothing to do with the likes of her. But she had an emergency. Her daughter had an unclean spirit. Her desperation drove her to see this Jesus everyone talked about.

She crumbled and fell at His feet when she came near. With great urgency she begged Him to heal her daughter.

Jesus looked down upon the woman and said, “It is not proper to give the children’s portion to dogs.”

On other days, if a Jew talked to her like that, she might have had a little something to say back. Today was different. Her daughter’s very life was at stake. There was no one else to turn to. She refused to get upset. She chose not to be offended for being called a dog.

She simply said, “Of a truth Lord, but even the dogs get crumbs that fall from the children’s table.”

Jesus marveled at her and instructed her to go home, telling her that her request had been answered. She went home and found her miracle waiting for her there.

The Syrophenician woman easily passed the Hurt Test. She chose not to be offended because of insults!

 

The Hurt Test, Part 2 – Rejection

King David was a man after God’s own heart. As the King in Israel, he could build anything he wanted. When David told God that he was planning to build Him a house to worship in, God said, “No.”

God told David that he was a bloody man and that building Him a house of worship wouldn’t be appropriate. The Lord said, “I want your son Solomon to build it for me. Solomon hadn’t even thought of building a Temple. He had exhibited neither burden nor passion to do so up to that point. The desire had originally been only David’s.

Rather than pout or get offended because God had rejected his offer, David helped his son, by supplying him with most of the materials needed to build the Temple. If he couldn’t build the Temple, then he was going to help someone else build it.

David easily passed The Hurt Test. He chose not to be offended by God’s rejection of his service, and His choosing another’s.

 

Extra Credit Test Questions

  • If someone else is asked to sing a special. Can you still worship with them and help them sing?
  • If someone else is asked to preach. Can you still say amen and help them preach?
  • If someone else is asked to lead. Can you joyfully follow?

The Hurt Test, Part 3 – Loss

Job had everything any man could want. He had a relationship with God. He had a wife and wonderful children. He owned vast herds of cattle, camels and sheep. He was no doubt the wealthiest man in the world.

Then the dark day of disaster dawned upon him. In a matter of hours, he lost his children, his herds and all of his wealth.

The second attack upon him was his health. Boils covered his body. He scratched them with shards of broken pottery.

His friends were sure that he had sinned and this was the judgment of God. His wife suggested he curse God and die.

Job told his wife that she was talking like one of the foolish women. He said that if God lets me die, I am going to die trusting Him. I am going to keep on living for Him like I always have.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

Job passed The Hurt Test. He chose not to be offended at God because he had lost everything. In the end, God blessed him with double wealth and more children!

 

Extra Credit Test Questions

  • When you lost your job, house, or car, did you also lose your praise too?
  • When you were voted out of office or removed from a leadership role, did you show a bad attitude?

 

The Hurt Test – The Apostle Paul’s Summary

2 Corinthians 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

2 Corinthians 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

2 Corinthians 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

2 Corinthians 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Even with a permanent “thorn in his side,” Paul passed The Hurt Test! He ignored his problems and encouraged everyone around him to “Rejoice evermore.” He said it again in the same breath, “Rejoice!” He even had Silas rejoice with him in prison and the Lord delivered them and all the prisoners, too.

 

Getting Help Passing The Hurt Test

Jesus stood and read from Isaiah 61 in the Synagogue. He sat down, looked at them all and said, “This day is the scripture fulfilled in your hearing.”

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Besides bringing salvation and healing, the other ministry of our Lord is to heal all hurts and bind up the broken-hearted. He can help you pass The Hurt Test.

 

*Notice:  All Students Failing To Pass The Hurt Test Will Be Required To Retake The Exam.

*Remember, The Teacher Will Remain Silent During The Testing!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 2, 2012 at 12:19 am