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Seven Ways To Be Lost

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Seven Ways To Be Lost

(The Evolution Of A Backslider)

 

1.) Neglect

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be   spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

  • Unconcern
  • Won’t Get Involved
  • Emptiness
  • Procrastination
  • Untreated Hearing Loss Leads To Dementia (In the natural and the spiritual.)

 

2.) Unbelief, Doubting

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

  • Unbelief Will Cause You To Depart From God.
  • Unbelief And Doubt Caused Israel To Never Make It to The Promised Land.

Hebrews 3:17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

Hebrews 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

  • Getting Your Eyes On Others Will Cause You To Doubt.

 

3.) Unteachable

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

  • Believing What They Choose
  • Selective Convictions
  • Ever Learning…
  • Without Spiritual Maturity
  • A Proud And Self-Righteous Spirit
  • Rob God Of His Tithe And Offerings

 

4.) Compromise

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

  • The Steps To Worldliness Are First Slow… And Then Rapid.

 

 5.) Not Living By Faith

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

  • Simple Trust In God vs Letting Circumstances Steal Your Joy.
  • We Draw Back First… Only Then Does God Hide Himself From Us.

 

6.) Rebellion

Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

Hebrews 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

  • Rebellion And Bitterness Go Hand-In-Hand

 

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

 

  • The Danger of Pride And Spiritual Hardness

Failing To Obey Them That Have The Rule Over You.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Not Being Fed Because They’re Not Willing Or Obedient.

Isaiah 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

 

7.) Willful Sin

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

  • The Practice Of Sin
  • Hidden Sin In Many
  • Resentment When Sin Is Preached About
  • In A Spiritual Stupor
  • Loss Of Conscience
  • Making Provision For The Flesh
  • Flaunting Worldly Life And Lifestyle

Don’t Bother Praying? Yes, You Heard Me Right… Don’t Bother Praying!

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Don’t Bother Praying? Yes, You Heard Me Right…

Don’t Bother Praying!

 

The Holy Scriptures screams the need for us all to pray. The Apostle Paul even said for us to pray without ceasing. Every pastor encourages his listeners to pray. I certainly agree with the admonition.

 

  • Yes, we know that God is a prayer-answering God!
  • He specializes in responding to our needs.
  • He specializes in healing our bodies and saving our souls.
  • He will hear a sinner’s prayer of repentance.
  • He answers all prayers for deliverance, forgiveness, and salvation.
  • He encourages us to just to ask, and He says, it shall be given.

 

But, There Are Times, When The Lord Tells Us It Won’t Do Any Good To Pray!

(Yes, You’ve Read That Last Sentence Right!)

 

1.) God Will Not Choose To Ignore Your Sinning, And Bless You Anyway…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Isa 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Those who think they can continually gratify their fleshly lusts and ignore God’s Word when they pray are only fooling themselves.  God is not in the mood to listen to them. Be warned.

 

2.) If You Still Want To Hang On To Your Sin…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Psa. 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

(NLT) – Psa. 66:18 18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

(ESV) – Psa. 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

 

3.) If You Refuse To Receive Instruction From God’s Word…

(Saying you’re not convicted, e.g.)

Don’t Bother Praying!

Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

 

4.) When You Ask For What You’ve No Right To Ask For.

Don’t Bother Praying!

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 (The Message) – James 4:3 And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.

 

5.) If You’re Guilty Of Destroying God’s Men And His Saints With The Sword Of Your Tongue, And With Your Railing…

Don’t Bother Praying!

Isa 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

 

6.) When You Mistreat Your Wife…

Don’t Bother Praying!

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

(NCV) 1 Peter 3:7 …do this so that nothing will stop your prayers.

(The Message) 1 Peter 3:7 …so your prayers don’t run aground.

Every husband must show his wife honor and respect her at all times. If he doesn’t, there is no need for him to bother God by trying to pray. God already has said He chooses not to listen to that man when he prays. No matter who he is.

A man who abandons his wife and family needs to remember that the only prayer God will entertain from him is one of true and complete repentance. He also owes the same repentance to his wife and family.

Sir: Don’t Make God Place A ‘Do Not Answer” Stamp On Your Prayer Request.

 

7.) If Your Refuse To Forgive

Don’t Bother Praying!

Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

  • God hears the prayer of the humble.
  • God hears the prayer of the repentant.
  • God hears the prayer of the submissive.
  • God hears the prayer of the obedient.
  • God hears the prayer of those hungry for Him.

 

May We All Pray Prayers That God Will Hear!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 8, 2018 at 8:08 pm

The Skid Row Church

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The Skid Row Church

A flashing red neon sign interrupted the dark.  The Salvation Army Rescue Mission across the street was hard not to notice. The homeless drifted up and down the sidewalk looking for a hand-out. The window of the new storefront church had a hand-scrawled welcome sign inviting one and all to come in.

As the door opens, the smell of fresh paint announces the recent renovations. Battleship Gray paint was on the walls, the old wooden floor and on the home-made benches. Everything in the church was painted gray except the pulpit and the piano.

The piano had been pushed up against the wall on the main floor. Sitting close to the six-inch-high platform. It was positioned to the left of the pulpit. The pastor’s wife played sweetly. It was like she was anointed. She sat facing the wall, but when she looks into the antique mirror fastened on the old upright, she can see her husband, the pastor and watch for his direction. Oh, how they sing! They sang with all their heart. The presence of the Lord was easily felt.

There were no songbooks or microphones. A tambourine and the rhythm of hands clapping complemented the evening worship service. The pastor’s small children sat respectful and quiet. They knew not to play during church.

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There are five children in the pastor’s family. The oldest was barely in his teens. They live in a migrant farm workers camp. The one room, clapboard shanty has been their home for a year. The shack they live in has no running water, no electricity, but it does have a wooden cook stove. The restroom facilities are about 200 feet away. One double bed, a built-in bunk bed, and pallets on the floor provided sleeping arraignments for them. Their little “house” looked just like the 75 or so others in the worker’s camp. Unpainted, no lawn, no porch, just shelter.

The whole family had picked apples in the local orchards when they had first arrived. It was harvest time. The ladders that the fruit pickers used, leaned tediously against the tree limbs. Canvas bags were strapped around the laborer’s necks that held the apples and became very heavy very fast. It was not easy work. It was piece rate labor.

Everyone one else living at “Schwarter’s Station was Hispanic. Their light skin stood out. The pastor finally got a day job at Libby’s Cannery and his wife worked nights at Del Monty’s Cannery to help make ends meet. Their 14-year-old son learned to help cook for the family on the old wood cook stove.

An older retired couple had lived in town for several years and had not gone to church anywhere because there was not a Jesus Name church in the area. They had grown cold spiritually. Now, they had rejoiced over the prospect of having a church in town. They were more than glad to help the new pastor start a church.

They found pails of old gray paint in the barn and felt, that though it might not look pretty, at least it would make the place look clean. There also was enough lumber in the shed to make a small platform and eight benches.

Counting the old drunk on the front row that only came inside because of the weather, there were ten people present and five of them were children. The drunk awoke during the altar call and left. The faithful few gathered around the front. They were disappointed that one got away. There was always the next time, if Jesus tarried.

 

The small group had no support from anyone, just a burden for souls.

This was Home Missions 1958.

(The Skid Row Church was in Yakima, Washington, and is still thriving today.)

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 15, 2017 at 9:20 am

Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf

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“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf”

 

The farmer looked closely at his cows and little calves. He felt blessed this year to have some good ones to choose from. He finally settled on the one he thought would be the best.  Pointing his finger at one, he yelled loud enough to be heard above the lowing cattle. He gave a command to his hired hand that would forever change the daily operation of his farm.

“Put that one in the main stall. Keep it separate from the others. And, feed it extra good feed every day. Do you hear me?”

“Yes sir,” came the reply as the man took a rope, then looped the calf’s little neck and began leading it toward the barn.

Every day after that the farmer went by the stall to check on his chosen calf. This calf would fare better than any of the others he had ever raised. He would fatten this one up on purpose. The amount of grain and hay given to it would be much more than the others received. Its stall was separate because the farmer knew if the other calves got in there, they would eat up all the feed.

Work on the farm started when the sun came up. The chickens were fed, and their eggs gathered. The donkeys were fed too. The cows got milked and were able to eat during the process. Nursing calves nudged their mothers seeking more milk. Even the dog was near his bowl waiting for his daily portion. The rooster officially started the morning’s business by announcing it was time to begin the day.

The smell of breakfast oozed from the kitchen into the rest of the house and yard. Everyone seemed busy doing something, but then one by one they washed up came inside and sat down to eat. The farmer prayed and gave thanks over the food, and then he, his son and the workers begin to eat and make small table talk. About the time they were finishing up, the farmer gave out his daily work orders to the crew. He finished by pointing to one of his men and said, “And, don’t forget to feed that calf.”

The man nodded and they all arose to finish the rest of their chores. In a couple of hours, the farmer went to the calf’s stall to check on things again. Yes, the calf had been fed and fed extra. The feed box still had grain in it. Several bats of hay lay on the ground as a backup supply. The little calf sure looked like it was thriving on the new diet.

The farmer leaned on the wooden gate and looked at the calf. His mind went back to the image of his baby boy carrying all his belongings and walking down the road away from the house not even looking back. Tears moistened his cheeks and ran down past his chin. His baby boy was gone! Oh, how he missed him! He had looked down the road every day hoping for a glimpse of him.

But something in his father’s gut told him that there would be a day when his boy would come back home. He didn’t know when, but he believed he eventually would. He knew his son would be very ashamed of what he had done when he did come home. He would never hold it over his son’s head and say, “I told you so!” Absolutely not! When he did return home, the father had no plans of going back to business as usual. No sir. He would do everything he could to let his boy know that he was loved and forgiven. He would throw a great big party for him. A party with lots of music, dancing, steaks, some barbecue, and festivities. Yes sir, he would make this calf get fat. Real fat.

  • This calf was dedicated to his son’s home-coming.
  • This calf represented the substance of things hoped for.
  • This calf was just waiting for the son’s day of restoration.
  • This calf was the party calf!

He wiped the tears from his face and turned around slowly, catching the eyes of some of his men, and said loudly for all of them to hear…

 

“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf.”

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

Luke 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 

Luke 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

“That’s Such An Easy Thing For God!” – Connie Ballestero

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“That’s Such An Easy Thing For God!” – Connie Ballestero

 

 

Carl and Connie Ballestero walked the mile home from the hospital with their day-old daughter, Nila Rose in the cool October weather. The hospital would only let them stay one day because they didn’t have hospitalization insurance.

The church board in the Columbus, Indiana where they had pastored for three years had recently moved all of their belongings out of the parsonage and thrown everything on the front yard for them to find when they came home from vacation. The Ballestero family moved down the road to a little town called, Hope.

The house they had rented had no running water or indoor restroom. The phone was Ma Bell’s old wall mounted hand crank-up phone with a party-line included. (During this time their income averaged about twenty to twenty-five dollars a week.)

Connie got little baby Nila settled in and crawled into her own bed. She was tired after the long walk home with a newborn. Her body was very weak.

Picking up some stationary and a pen, she began to write a letter to her mother, Flora Gleason in Oregon City, OR.

“When we walked into the house, it felt cool and Carl checked the furnace and saw that we were out of fuel oil. He walked down to the fuel oil company to buy a load of fuel. When he came back home, he sat on the edge of the bed and his countenance was fallen.

‘What’s the matter, Carl,’ I asked.

‘When I finished paying for the fuel, I only had one dollar left. It will be two weeks before I preach my next revival, and then it will be a week before they pay me. I only have one dollar to feed a family of seven for three weeks!’

I looked at Carl and said, ‘That’s such an easy thing for God!’

(The color of the ink changed in the letter, letting the reader to suppose time had passed before the letter writing resumed.)

Brother and Sister Lester McFarland just stopped by on their way home from General Conference. They didn’t know that baby Nila had been born yet. She gave me ten dollars to buy her something nice.

The men stayed in the living room talking a long time. When the McFarlands left, Carl came into the room holding a fifty dollar bill in his hand. He said Brother McFarland told me that the Lord told him to give it to us!”

 

 

Gentle Reader? The crisis you face right now seems to deplete your hopes and crush your dreams. Your situation is such an easy thing for God to fix. As in, fix it right now!!

Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Posted in Faith, Trust

Tagged with

Can You Turn Jesus Around?

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Can You Turn Jesus Around?

Some Things That Turn Jesus Around…

 The Faith Of The Woman With The Issue Of Blood Turned Jesus Around.

Matthew 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:

Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

  • What Turned Jesus Around?
  • Believing He Can When No One Else Can.

 

The Centurion’s Faith In Our Lord’s Spoken Word Turned Jesus Around.

Luke 7:6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:

Luke 7:7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

Luke 7:8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

  • What Turned Jesus Around?
  • Believing In His word

 

The Disciple’s Hunger For His Fellowship Turned Jesus Around.

Luke 24:28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

Luke 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

  • What Turned Jesus Around?
  • Hungry For His Presence.

 

All It Took Was Faith And Hunger To Turn Jesus Around.

Can You Turn Jesus Around?

Then Do It!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 16, 2016 at 10:46 am

Posted in Faith

World’s Largest Trading Post

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World’s Largest Trading Post

Old Jim and me was a standing on the corner of Broadway and Straight Street one afternoon some years back. We seen this old man wearing sandals, and he had big sign hung around his neck for everyone to see. A curious crowd stood in front of him. They were reading every word of the sign on his chest.

The big words at the top of the sign seemed to say it all. The World’s Largest Trading Post!

People were reading out loud with amazement and near unbelief. It was hard for us to hear all the comments, but from time to time we heard things like:

“How can this be?”

“How can they stay in business tradin’ good stuff for junk?”

“There’s gotta be catch somewheres!”

“This is hard to believe!”

 

Not every passerby took time to read the long list of the day’s specials. Yet there always seemed to be a cluster of potential customers reading every word of the sign.

In answer to someone’s question about the location of the trading post, the old man tried to hold his sign steady with one hand so others could still read as he pointed with his other hand showing the direction. Looking where he pointed, I could see a large crowd moving that way. Almost all of them were carrying bags that sure looked awful heavy.

We waited our turn to get close enough to see the small print. I started reading from the top down, and I read every word.

 

The World’s Largest Trading Post

Specializing In Even Swaps! No Money Needed!

 

Today’s Trade Specials

  • Beauty – for your ashes.
  • Oil of Joy – for your mourning.
  • Garment of Praise – for your spirit of heaviness.
  • Crown – for your cross.
  • New life – for your old life.
  • Hope – for your despair.
  • Eternal Life – for your sins.
  • Peace – for your turmoil.
  • Healing – for your sickness.
  • Strength – for your weakness.

 

Please Take Advantage Of Our Free Gifts And Services!

  • Broken Hearts Bound Up.
  • Sins Forgiven.
  • Sins Washed Away in Jesus Name Baptism.
  • Free Gift of The Holy Ghost.
  • Free Robe of Righteousness.
  • Free Garment of Salvation.
  • Free Services of the Great Physician.
  • Free Services of World’s Greatest Defense Attorney – (He’s never lost a case.)
  • Free Services of The Counselor.
  • Free Private Audience with the Prince of Peace.

 

Whatever Your Need, Just Ask!

  • Joy Unspeakable – Our shelves are loaded!
  • Peace that passeth understanding is always in stock!
  • Healing for every broken heart!
  • Liberty for all who are bound!

 

Our Motto: “You Have Not Because You Ask Not!”

We Specialize In Good Tidings for All People!

 

“What’s your name old man?” Jim asked when he finished reading the sign.

The old man turned his attention to Jim and his weathered and wrinkled face seemed to have an inner shine. With a slight smile on his lips and a bit of a twinkle in his eye he said, “Isaiah”.

I caught Jim’s eye and gave him the nod. We both turned and started in the direction of The World’s Largest Trading Post.

There was this large group of folks just a singing near the entrance. They sang with smiles on their faces and joy seemed to fill their voices as they motioned for us to come inside.

They sang:

The windows of heaven are open.

God’s blessings are falling tonight.

There’s joy, joy, joy in my heart,

Since Jesus made everything right.

I gave Him my old tattered garment.

He gave me a robe of pure white.

I’m feasting on manna from heaven.

And that’s why I’m happy tonight.

 

Old Jim and me? Well, he looked at me and nodded and I nodded back as he shifted the weight of his bag to the other shoulder. I picked mine own bag up and we both went inside!

 

 

 

References:

Isaiah 61:1-3, 10

Isaiah 9:6

Acts 2:38

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm