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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

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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

When Jesus “Sleeps” Through Your Storm

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When Jesus “Sleeps” Through Your Storm

Mark 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

Mark 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

Mark 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

Mark 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

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.

Mark 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

 

The twelve men hung on to the sides of the boat for dear life. None of them could remember being in a storm this bad. They all knew horror stories of boats sinking and sailors dying in storms that weren’t as bad as this one. If they lived through it, this would be the storm they would talk about to their grandchildren.

The small craft was taking on lots of water. Spray from the sea had made sure they were all wet and soaked to the skin. Each wave bounced them like a bucking horse. Their chances of surviving this storm didn’t look good.

Their eyes made fearful and furtive glances at the man asleep on a pillow in the back of the boat. They looked at Him in disbelief. How in the world could anyone sleep at a time like this?

If they ever needed anyone to wake up and help them, it was now! They had never been so desperate. No one aboard ship could help them like Him and yet He, of all people, is comfortably asleep while their ship is ready to go down and their lives are on the line. Their boat was full of water.

  • Can’t He feel the reeling and rocking of the boat?
  • Can’t He feel the wet spray on His face and body?
  • Can’t He feel the sloshing of the water in the boat?
  • Can’t He hear them yelling emergency orders to one another?
  • Why won’t He wake up?
  • How can He sleep during a time like this?

They caught each other’s eyes in disbelief while shaking their heads. Their mouths were too fearful to utter what their minds were thinking. They knew that if He would only wake up, He could help. The problem was that Jesus was sleeping through their storm. Jesus, the greatest miracle worker they had ever known was asleep, as far as they could tell.

He was their Master. He was their leader. They were even in this boat right now because of Him. He had told them to take Him to the other side. No one wanted to be disrespectful to Him and wake Him up if He wanted to sleep.

The journey to the other side could cost them their very lives. The trip to the other side may well sink their boat. They had been safe where they had been. They had been without fear on the shore they just left. This journey to the other side was more than they could endure or survive.

They had rejoiced in amazement when Jesus raised the dead. They were astonished and joyful when they saw the leprous man healed by Him. He had even turned water into wine. Why wasn’t He turning this terrible storm into some kind of a miracle for them?

They were His disciples. Jesus was always busy healing and helping everyone else. They had left their homes for Him. They had not slept in their own beds in a long time for Him. He surely wouldn’t neglect or ignore the needs of His own disciples.

No one seemed sure of the proper way to wake Him. They had never had to do that before. He always seemed to be awake, aware and in control. But not now, when the needed Him the most.

The boat wrenched violently and shook them into action. Someone cried out, “Master! Carest Thou not that we perish?”

He immediately arose and rebuked the storm and there was a great calm. When He said, “Peace, be still.” The wind immediately stopped blowing. The waves stopped heaving and churning. The eyes of the twelve opened wide in disbelief at the amazing turn of events. It wasn’t just a calm, but a great calm. They knew He had worked miracles, but the fact the wind and the sea obeyed His voice, astounded them beyond words.

Jesus then turned to them and said simply, “How come you didn’t trust Me?” (“Oh ye of little faith!”)

 

Bro. Verbal Bean made the statement to our church while teaching on faith, which shocked me at first. He said, “God don’t care till you care.” I wasn’t ready to agree with him until he explained it, and to the best of my memory it went something like this…

“Think of all the trials you’ve been through and all of the difficulties you have faced, and nothing happened to change it for the better. God never just came and fixed the problem for you. Nothing happened until you got involved and you prayed and you asked for help. That’s when you got your miracle. When you got involved, God got involved.”

 

Maybe Your Storm Is A Bad Report From The Doctor.

Maybe Your Storm Is A Financial One.

Maybe Your Storm Is A Spiritual One.

Maybe Your Storm Involves Your Spouse.

Maybe Your Storm Involves A Wayward Child.

Maybe Your Storm Is Cause By The Overwhelming Grief Of The Loss Of Your Child.

 

To you, right now, it may appear that He is unconcerned about your storm. But, that is absolutely not true. “He careth for you.”

1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

  • Do what the disciples did.
  • Do what they did when they realized there was nothing else they could do.
  • They called out to Him, and He immediately responded.
  • When you get involved, He gets involved. It’s true!

 

Remember: Psa 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

He didn’t sleep through Daniel’s storm. He didn’t sleep through the Hebrew Children’s storm. And, He won’t sleep through yours. He, who is control of everything, is not really asleep when you need him.

Call Out To Him Now!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Faith, Peace, Prayer, Trust

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