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Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Baby, You Took A Chance On Me – August 14, 1965!

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Marcia June Starr Ballestero

Happy Fifty-Third Anniversary Darling!

You Took A Chance On Me – August 14, 1965

THANK YOU!!

 

 

 

I was nothing, yet you let me into your world.

I had nothing, yet you believed in me enough to partner with me for life.

I was so broke that I had to pawn my guitar to get to our wedding.

I couldn’t preach very good, and my revival calendar was empty.

But, you took a chance on me.

 

You were the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.

You had talent and poise.

Your singing sounded to me like the voice of an angel.

I couldn’t sing,

I wasn’t talented,

I couldn’t preach,

I still had a face full of pimples,

I had nothing to offer you but a heart that was enraptured with the very thought of you.

But, you took a chance on me.

 

You took a chance on me without knowing much about me.

You took a chance on me and the very idea of you loving me was exhilarating!

You took a chance on me and made to the envy of all my fellows.

You took a chance on me and filled my life with peace, joy, and love.

You took a chance on me and made me the richest man in the world.

 

You went to death’s door five times to give us a family.

You are the most nurturing and loving wife, mother, and grandmother.

You are the wisest woman I know.

You are the most beautiful woman I know.

You are the sweetest woman I know.

You are the most loving woman I know.

 

You are the very essence of peace.

You make a house into a home.

You are a perfect example of a wife and a mother.

Your talents have flourished.

Your beauty never fades.

Your love is wonderful beyond description.

 

Thank you for taking a chance on me.

I still don’t have anything.

I’m still broke.

I still can’t preach.

I’m still not talented.

I don’t know how you’re able to look past all of that and see that my heart is smitten by you.

But, Thank You!

 

I am thrilled to say that I am still here 53 years later.

I am thrilled to say that I am still head-over-heels in love with you.

I am thrilled to say that I still can’t wait to see your face every day.

I am thrilled to say that your love is sweeter now than ever.

I am thrilled to say that you are the love of my life.

 

I love you.

I need you.

Oh, and thank you for taking a chance on me. I ain’t much, but I am still yours.

 

I pray God gives us both health and many more years for me to enjoy loving the girl who took a chance on me!

 

Baby, I Love You With All My Heart!

Marty

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 14, 2018 at 1:05 am

Posted in Love, Marriage

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

She’s A Woman In Love!

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She’s A Woman In Love!

 

Everyone can tell she’s in love, because of how she acts around him.

They also can tell she’s in love by how she acts when she’s by herself.

Even strangers can look at her, when she’s with him, and see that she’s in love.

 

Her every thought is consumed with thinking about him and them.

She is affectionate with her words to him.

She is affectionate with him.

 

She constantly does little things for him so he will know she was thinking about him.

She always makes herself available to be with him.

She constantly stays in touch and quickly responds when he communicates with her.

 

She never ignores him.

She never stops telling him that she loves him.

She brings him gifts.

 

She looks lovingly at every picture she has of him.

She reads and rereads his every letter to her, looking for some possible hidden sweetness.

She dresses to please him and imagines his reaction of approval to her outfit.

 

She smiles all the time.

She’s never been happier.

She is happier than anyone has ever seen her.

 

She is always willing to go wherever he suggests.

She can’t wait for his call.

She knows her response will always be yes.

 

She feels secure in his love and trusts his every word.

She believes he will always do the right thing for her and protect her.

She sings love songs just for him.

 

She is quick to cry and say she’s sorry when she feels she has done something to displease him.

She writes love poems to him.

She feels her heart melt when he comes close to her.

 

She looks at no one else.

She thinks of no one else.

She talks of no one else.

 

She knows her heart is fixed on him and refuses to let anything change that.

She lets him plan her life.

She loves going to his house.

 

She chooses to love his family too.

She tells all her friends about him.

She brags on him to everyone who will listen.

 

She is not ashamed of him.

She is proud to be called his.

She can’t wait until they get married.

 

She dreams and plans for that day.

She counts the days.

She’s a woman in love!

 

 

If This Is A Picture Of A Woman In Love, Then Read On…

Because the Acts 2:38 church is the bride of Christ…  then isn’t this how His bride-to-be should act?

Shouldn’t His Bride Act Like A Woman In Love?

 

 

 Everyone can tell she’s in love, because of how she acts around Him.

They also can tell she’s in love by how she acts when she’s by herself.

Even strangers can look at her, when she’s with Him, and see that she’s in love.

 

Her every thought is consumed with thinking about Him and them.

She is affectionate with her words to Him.

She is affectionate with Him.

 

She constantly does little things for Him so He will know she was thinking about Him.

She always makes herself available to be with Him.

She constantly stays in touch and quickly responds when He communicates with her.

 

She never ignores Him.

She never stops telling Him that she loves Him.

She brings Him gifts.

 

She looks lovingly at every picture she has of Him.

She reads and rereads His every letter to her, looking for some possible hidden sweetness.

She dresses to please Him and imagines His reaction of approval to her outfit.

 

She smiles all the time.

She’s never been happier.

She is happier than anyone has ever seen her.

 

She is always willing to go wherever He suggests.

She can’t wait for His call.

She knows her response will always be yes.

 

She feels secure in His love and trusts His every word.

She believes He will always do the right thing for her and protect her.

She sings love songs just for Him.

 

She is quick to cry and say she’s sorry when she feels she has done something to displease Him.

She writes love poems to Him.

She feels her heart melt when He comes close to her.

 

She looks at no one else.

She thinks of no one else.

She talks of no one else.

 

She knows her heart is fixed on Him and refuses to let anything change that.

She lets Him plan her life.

She loves going to His House.

 

She chooses to love His family too.

She tells all her friends about Him.

She brags on Him to everyone who will listen.

 

She is not ashamed of Him.

She is proud to be called His.

She can’t wait until they get married.

 

She dreams and plans for that day.

She counts the days.

She’s a woman in love!

 

As a Holy Ghost filled, Pentecostal Apostolic, can the world see that you are really in love with Jesus?

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 10, 2018 at 9:18 pm

All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

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All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

Proverbs 30:18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

Proverbs 30:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

He had it all.

Actually, He had everything.

Well, He had everything, except one thing.

He had no one to love Him.

He had Angels who praised Him continuously.

He had Angels who did His bidding without question.

But He had no one to love Him.

He had no one to dote on Him.

He had received honor before.

He had received praise before.

But He had never been loved before.

He had never seen love demonstrated.

He had never seen love displayed.

He had never seen love expressed or shown.

He had never seen romance before.

He understood things like physics, gravity, light, sound, space travel and how to make something out of nothing.

He understood emotions like rebellion, pride, and obedience.

He just wanted to know more about this thing called love.

He had always heard over 10,000 Hallelujahs at any given moment of every day.

He heard multitudes cry “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” every day.

What He’d never heard was someone say, “I love you!”

He knew the journey to finding love would be very long.

He had seen twinkles in stars before, but never in an eye.

His plan already included man, Calvary, and the Church.

He was prepared to do whatever it took to get a bride.

He wanted to find someone to love Him.

He spoke and the heavens and the earth came into existence.

By His own words, the sun, moon, and stars were created and flung perfectly into space.

By His own voice, the light was created, flowers and trees sprung up.

He said the words, and fish, birds, and animals appeared.

He looked it all over and said. “That’s good.”

Then He stopped talking.

Adam And Eve

He knelt down on the ground and with His hands, he began to form someone He could love. He called the man, Adam. The woman was named Eve.

He loved them. He visited every day. They walked and talked together every day without distraction.

He watched Adam and Eve smile at one another. He saw how Adam responded to Eve’s touch and Eve to Adam’s.

He watched them hold hands and kiss.

He liked what He saw. He saw the twinkle in Adam’s eye. He saw romance in its purest form.

He tried to imagine a mere mortal loving Him.

His mind raced ahead thousands of years. He thought of Himself and the Church. He pondered about His bride-to-be. “So… this is what it’s going to be like to be in love!”

He’d never been in love before. He saw Adam and Eve enjoying each other’s company. He told Himself, “That’s the kind of love I want. That’s the kind of romance I want.”

He so enjoyed being with Adam and Eve, that He turned His attention from the sounds of “Hallelujah” and “Holy-Holy” for a few hours every day just to come and see them.

He had no competition in the love department on earth. Maybe they would fall in love with Him.

Then came the heart-wrenching day when the evil serpent beguiled Eve. Sin, the enemy of the Most Holy One entered the picture. Paradise was no more.

Pain, sorrow, shame, and regret now entered the picture. The hope of Adam and Eve continuing their relationship with Him was over. Sin did it’s best to destroy that relationship.

They chose to listen to the voice of His enemy rather than listen to His voice.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Enoch

Seven generations later, a man was born by the name of Enoch. He heard his father and grandfather talk about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He heard the stories about God walking with them in the cool of the day.

Enoch began to imagine what it would be like to have God for a friend. That seemed to be all he could think about.

He inquired often of his family, asking them many questions, hoping to hear more stories about those precious days. He even got to talk to Adam himself and listened intently. He dreamed of having a similar experience with God.

One day Enoch started calling on the Lord as he walked. He began talking to God as if He was beside him.  The Lord did appear beside him and they began walking together and talking together every day.

Enoch was perfect in God’s eyes. His love thrilled the Lord. This was true love. Here was someone who chose to love Him, who took time out of their day and focused only on Him.

They walked and talked together every day for years. Then one day while they were walking, the sun started going down.

The Lord noticed it too. He also knew it was a long way back to Enoch’s house. So He said, “Enoch, it’s closer to my house than it is to yours. Why don’t you come on home with me?” Enoch said, “Yes.”

“And Enoch was not, for the Lord took him.”

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Israel

He looked the world over and His eyes fell upon her. He could really love her. Her father was a Hittite and her mother was an Amorite. But He didn’t hold that against her.

He stood there looking at her, watching her. She was beautiful to Him.

She had no family, no one to look after her. There was no one else that loved her.

She was unwanted and unloved by everyone else in the world.  She was considered second class and discarded by those who knew her.

  • She wasn’t beautiful, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t rich, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t mighty, but He loved her.
  • She wasn’t even faithful, but He loved her.

He, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the First and the Last, The Lord God Almighty tried vainly to woo her. He did everything He could to show her He could supply her every need.

He was the richest Man in the world and of all the people in the world; He chose her, the poorest of all. He alone could make her prosper. She wasn’t impressed for long.

He showed her things about Himself that no one else had ever known. He gave her some names she could call Him by that would reveal His protecting love for her.

  • Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will Provide.
  • Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer.
  • Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our Banner
  • Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our Peace
  • Jehovah Raah – The Lord our Shepherd
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our Righteousness
  • Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is Present

When she got sick, He made sure she got well. When she was hungry, He provided food for her and took care of her every need.

He loved her, and yet she wasn’t happy with Him. Her heart easily turned aside. She often looked at others the way He wished she would look at Him. It grieved Him continually.

While still on their honeymoon, problems arose. They hadn’t been gone from Egypt a month and things turned ugly. Before He could even get her to the Promised Land and the home He had given her, she showed her unhappiness.

He talked with Moses about His plans for her and gave him detailed instructions.

But before Moses could talk to her she started looking at someone else. She began to dress to please them. She brazenly displayed her disdain for His wishes.

  • She murmured.
  • She complained.
  • She rebelled.
  • She flaunted herself in front of others.
  • She became brazen.
  • She couldn’t even blush.

It broke His heart. Yet He fought for her when everyone tried to kill her. He supplied her every need. He cared for her more than she cared for Him.

He still loved her. He sent her letters, but she ignored them. Even after she got settled in her new home, she started looking for other lovers.

She played the harlot and was unfaithful to Him. She only dressed to please Him if she was in the mood. She often saw others that attracted her and she dressed and displayed herself in a way to please them. She longed for their affections, not His.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Hosea

No one seemed to care how He felt. He had no one to share His pain and problems with.

In His Divine Heartache, He looked upon His prophet, Hosea. Hosea was unmarried.

He told Hosea to marry a woman who stood on the street corners at night. “Just go pick a prostitute, anyone will do.”

He wanted someone to feel like He felt, every day.

He wanted to see again how mere mortals handled rejection from those they loved.

Hosea found such a girl. Her name was Gomer. Everyone in town knew Hosea. They were shocked at his choice of a wife. In their minds she was trash.

  • She had dirtied herself.
  • She had lowered herself.
  • She had ruined her name.
  • She would destroy their marriage.
  • Of all the girls, why pick her?

The romance burned brightly and then quickly faded. The Lord watched how their love life went.

He watched Gomer sweeten his coffee with her kisses and then walk out the door disappearing for long periods of time.

Then came the babies. Their very names carried not only a prophecy to Israel but also a wake-up call to Hosea about his two-timing wife.

Jezreel, “God will disperse”

Lo-ruhamah, “Not pitied, or No Mercy”

Lo-ammi, “Not my people”

Hosea could tell by the names he named his children that he was not their father.

Gomer eventually got so involved in her wild lifestyle that she was overpowered and put into slavery by one of her lovers. She later was placed on an auction block and sold like a farm animal.

Hosea got word that his wife was being sold. He knew what she was and what she had done. But he loved her in spite of it all.

Anyone can tell by what he paid for her, that he gave all the money he had and emptied out his meager pantry besides. He gave his all to buy her back. He paid fifteen pieces of silver, and 1½ homers of barley.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

The Lord watched as Hosea gave all he had to buy his unfaithful wife back.

He turned his attention again to Israel. She wasn’t on an auction block. She wasn’t held against her will. She was happy to be unfaithful.

So He wrote her a bill of divorcement and He didn’t talk to her for 400 years.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Calvary

One day, He finally stepped into His closet and clothed Himself in a robe of flesh. He was born in Bethlehem to a young virgin.

He chose not to arrive in splendor, so He came to earth in obscurity. He came as God manifested in the flesh. He walked almost unnoticed around her.

He didn’t make Himself handsome so that she would love Him for His good looks. He wanted her to love Him for who He was, not what He looked like.

But He came unto His own and His own received Him not. They didn’t believe Him.

  • He wept.
  • His love was everlasting. Her love was fickle.
  • She tried to find fault with Him. She only followed Him for what He could give them.
  • He wanted to talk.
  • She was too busy, too preoccupied.

He said to her, “You say you love Me, but you say that only with your lips. It’s just words. Your heart is far from Me. You don’t love Me with your heart.”

He saw her as she really was. A slave. She was in bondage and held fast by her own sins.

He knew He was the only One who could redeem her.

He willingly offered Himself on Calvary for Her. He willingly gave His all to buy her back. He gave His blood to wash away her sins and He arose on the third day to give her hope of a new life.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

The Church

Over 2,000 years have come and gone. He’s ready now to take His bride to a home He has prepared just for her.

He wanted someone who would love Him enough to heed all of His Word. After all, if she really loved Him, she would keep His commandments. Not pick and choose which ones she liked. He was in love, why wasn’t she?

Yet He sees her still looking at the world. Sometimes she tries harder to please her other lovers than she does Him.

She has started complaining again if she thinks He’s asking her to dress a certain way just for Him. She doesn’t always act like she is in love with Him.

She says, “He doesn’t care how I dress. He doesn’t look on the outside. He only looks on the inside, on the heart.”

But when He looked in her heart, He saw nothing there that looked like love to Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.

  • She dreads talking to Him on a daily basis. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She doesn’t think about Him during the course of the day. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • Yet she talks freely to everyone else but Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • All she seems to want is a sugar daddy. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She has to be begged to visit His house. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He blesses her with money and yet she is not faithful to give her tithe to Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He sends blessings her way and loads her down daily with benefits. She soon forgets. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He sends healing to her every situation. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He calms her storms of life. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She has all the songs memorized and sings them without feeling. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • She hears His Word preached and chooses which parts she likes and doesn’t like. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He says He’s coming to get her and she’s not even looking out the window for Him. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He says He is coming to get and to take her to heaven with Him, and she is not even making herself ready. She doesn’t act like she is in love with Him.
  • He knew it would happen this way.
  • A long time ago He said that she would love pleasure more than she loved Him.
  • He said that her love would wax cold.
  • He said she would leave her 1st love.
  • And He was right.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

You

  • Do you love Him? I mean, do you really love Him? Do you love Him with all of your heart? He wants to know.
  • He wants to know if you love another. Do you?
  • He wants to know if your heart belongs only to Him or not. Does it?
  • He’s looking for a bride that will love Him with all of her heart, her soul her mind, and her strength.
  • Could that person be you? He’s looking your way right now. He wants it to be you.

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

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The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

 

 

Near the Savannah, Georgia exit 102 on I-95, sits a Cracker Barrel next to our motel. The chalk-written New Year’s message is plain for all to see. It says:

 

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions”

 

May this New Year be a time for all of us to start afresh. Regardless of past failures or yesterday’s disappointments.

We need to leave our paradigm of failure-thinking and begin again. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had to begin again. What you have been through was neither your final chapter nor your epitaph.

 

Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

 

It’s not abnormal for good people to make mistakes and have to start over or begin again. Even Paul said he died daily. He started over every day.

 

 New Beginnings:

 

 Has your Bible reading been almost nonexistent lately?

Begin again.

 

How about your prayer life? Been busy? Hard to get to pre-service prayer for some reason or another?

Begin again.

 

Got out of the habit of responding during the worship service?

Begin again.

 

Has there been an absence of you saying amen to the preaching lately?

Begin again.

 

You haven’t taught a Home Bible Study in a long time?

Begin again.

 

How long since you made it to midweek service?

Begin again.

 

How about your tithes? If you’ve quit giving tithes and offerings…

Begin again.

 

Have you resigned or quit participating in your church?

Begin again.

 

Have you stopped kissing your spouse good morning, good night, and good-bye?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I love you” to your spouse?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said I love you to your parents?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I am proud of you,” and “I love you,” to your children?

 Begin again.

 

Have you stopped saying, “I love you” to your in-laws?

Begin again.

 

 

Begin again In God. Recover yourself.

 

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

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

 

 

Traditions

 

Traditions make homes and churches special. When our large family gets together, there are always certain meals everyone can count on.  You just know that there will be gumbo one day and enchiladas and tacos on another. And the morning we all have to leave, there’s s special breakfast restaurant we go to. It’s our custom. It’s just how it is in our family.

Churches have customs and traditions too. It’s a huge disappointment to go back to your ‘home’ church and find out how different it is or that they have changed.

 

Hold fast to the old Apostolic Pentecostal Traditions.

When backsliders and those who have had to move away, come back to visit… Let them that see your church is still holding on to the old-time ways!

 

And, as Cracker Barrel would say if it was preaching this sermon,

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Hey, You Know That Brother You Don’t Like?

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Hey, You Know That Brother You Don’t Like?

 

A brother, in the Bible, is not necessarily someone who is connected to you by earthly DNA. He may not even like you, or you like him. At first glance, you may not even think you have that much in common. Imagine having a brother you don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t want to like and sure don’t want anything to do with him. What if he’s a jerk? What if he’s irritating? What if he’s too odd for you to feel comfortable around. What if he has strange convictions and non-biblical standards?

 

Part One:

 

Rom 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

The Apostle Paul forces us to focus on the first and last portions of this verse. He wanted us to remember that though we may differ with our brother on some things, that Christ died for him too, just like He did for you.

Yes, some folks are harder to like than others. Many adults have acquired a bias or some prejudice over the years. Some put people in categories. They even have names for people they don’t like.

  • Redneck
  • Yankee
  • Trailer Trash
  • Stupid
  • Liberal
  • Ultra-Con
  • Democrat
  • Republican

Sometimes it’s hard to believe Jesus would actually die for someone like that. But, if Jesus died for him, how then can we hate him and say we love Jesus? 

 

We say, “But Lord:”

  • He’s a grumbler.
  • He’s a complainer.
  • He’s a fault finder.
  • He’s rebellious.
  • He’s irritating.

 

  • He has an attitude.
  • He’s a Pharisee.
  • He’s carnal.
  • He’s bitter.

 

  • He’s annoying.
  • He’s mean.
  • He’s proud.
  • He’s unthankful.
  • He’s halfhearted.

 

  • He’s lukewarm.
  • He lays out of church.
  • He’s hit and miss.
  • He runs hot and cold.

 

  • He’s undependable.
  • He’s got a personal agenda.
  • He’s working against me.
  • He doesn’t like me.

 

  • He’s not right.
  • He’s really weird.
  • He’s crazy.
  • He’s messed up.

 

 That May Be True… But He’s Still “Thy Brother… For Whom Christ Died.”

It’s hard to believe that the Lord would die for someone like that. We can’t imagine dying for them. Our heart experiences dark emotions and horrible opinions in dealing with some people. We sometimes experience dislike, racism, bias, prejudices, name-calling, and avoidance. But He’s Still, “Thy Brother… For Whom Christ Died.”

 We may struggle with the idea of including him into our fellowship, our inner circle, our church, and especially our home. But He’s Still “Thy Brother… For Whom Christ Died.”

The Apostle Paul wrote this charge to the church in Rome.

He, like the all the Disciples, had to get past to his Gentile prejudices.

Paul even had problems with Demas and John Mark. He also had to deal with the saints who sinned and all those with moral and spiritual problems in the churches in Asia. What gave him a center of balance in his handling these difficult people was that he understood… they too were people for whom Christ died. He couldn’t hate them and be saved. Neither can we.

 

Matt. 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matt. 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matt. 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

You know that person who you wouldn’t think of inviting to your church? The one who is not like you? Christ died for them too. Open your heart’s door to them, and the doors of your church, too. Jesus is watching because he’s still “Thy Brother… For Whom Christ Died.”

 

Part Two

 

I Am Your Brother

Psa. 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

 

(Here are some things that your “brother” has often wanted to tell you… but was afraid!)

 

Dear Brother:

We really didn’t have any choice.  God somehow in His wise providence, has chosen to put us together, for our mutual benefit.  I am your brother.  Here is a list of things that have been bothering me.  I plead for your understanding.

  1. I have problems with myself. I know it and I don’t like it either. Be patient, please.  I am your brother.  I am still working on myself.  Thanks for your tolerance.

 

  1. In recognizing my own problems, and knowing how much I loathe them, I know they must bother you and others too. Please bear with me while I’m trying to get the victory over myself. Just like I am bearing with you.

 

  1. It frustrates me too that I’m not perfect. I want to be. That’s my prayer.

 

  1. Sometimes it frustrates me that you’re not perfect…. but that’s when I remember, I’m still your brother!

 

  1. There are so many good qualities in you. I gain strength from them all. I just hope that some of my good qualities can also be seen.

 

  1. I hate the fact that Satan tries to capitalize on our shortcomings and magnify them in the eyes of others. My hope is that you’ll be able to see the good in me and not just my faults.

 

  1. Thank you for respecting my feelings even when you didn’t understand them. (Sometimes I don’t understand my own feelings either.) I wish to make every effort to respect yours too.  I am your brother.

 

  1. I guess I’ve wanted to put you into my mold and make you exactly like I wanted you to be. That just doesn’t work. Neither can I fit into your mold.

 

  1. As my brother, I allow you the liberty to pick friends of your own choosing, and have good times with them, (even without me), and not be resentful or jealous.

 

  1. Likewise, I may choose some friends and occasionally be with them. From time to time I’d like to have fun and fellowship with them and not worry about slighting you.

 

  1. However, you are welcome wherever I am. Don’t ever feel you are ever intruding. And please don’t “hang back” if you weren’t personally invited by me to join the crowd.  You also belong.  You’re my brother.  Your friendship is highly valued and enjoyed.  There will always be room for you in my world.

 

  1. Thank you for the security I feel between us. Even if we haven’t talked for a while, when we do, it is a comfortable conversation and picks right back up where we left off. I like that.

 

  1. Those you love can hurt you the most. Let’s be careful in our treatment of each other, lest we do irreparable damage to ourselves. We must never grieve the Holy Ghost to the point that we’re both damaged, bitter, or lost.

 

  1. Let’s not have a “hot and cold” relationship that changes with the weather. We need to be able to count on each other. Brethren are supposed to have the next-to-the-closest relationship in the world.  Only Jesus is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.  I am going to stick by you.  I am your brother.

 

  1. I pledge to defend your name and honor during your absence. I am your brother.

 

  1. Likewise, I know that I can depend on you to do the same for me.

 

  1. As long as there are people, there will be rumors, criticisms, remarks, opinions and second-guessing. When my back is turned, you are my only defense. I need you to watch my back, as I will watch and guard yours.  You can trust me.  I am your brother.

 

  1. I love you, brother! Not just because I must love you, but I really want to love you!! (If I say I love God and don’t love you, I am called a liar)

 

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

 

  1. Brother, if you see me and can tell that I have a problem, don’t go tell the world, help me. Don’t be afraid. God put you in my life to help me make it.

 

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness: considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

 

  1. Brother, I “prefer you”. I pray for your success and blessing. I pray that all your efforts receive their due honor.  (Without my harboring any jealousy or envy.)

 

Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love:  In honor preferring one another. 

 

Please!!  Should I ever be blessed or promoted above my fellows, it would kill me to think my brother was jealous.  I want to ‘prefer’ you.  I want to be happy with your successes.  So please be happy with mine.  I am your brother.  We’re on the same team.

 

  1. It is God’s will that the law of kindness guides us in our relationship. He wills that we be kind to each other.

 

2 Peter 1:5-8 And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to your virtue… brotherly kindness… for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

I can’t thank you enough for your kindnesses to me, nor can I tell you how much I truly appreciate them.

 

  1. Brother, God won’t hear my prayer if I’ve got something in my heart against you! If I ever need to ask forgiveness or apologize, please forgive me. Then, don’t crucify me and alienate me because I was trying to be conscientious.  Realize we’re both just two brothers trying to be saved.

 

Here’s what we are supposed to do if you have a problem with me, or I have a problem with you:

 

Matt. 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Matt. 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

 

  1. Too often, lines are drawn in our minds between ourselves and our brother. We choose not to fellowship him because he is UPCI, WPF, ALJC, or Independent. (What if God is in fellowship with those you choose not to be in fellowship with. Will you have to explain to God on the Day of Judgment why you were too good or too holy to fellowship a brother whom Christ died for?)

 

More than ever, I appreciate you.  I thank God for allowing us to lean on each other.  I need you like you won’t believe.  Don’t fail me.  I will not fail you.  I am your brother!

 

I Love You Brother!!

 

Part Three

 

Now, Let’s Have Revival!

 

Revival only happens when there is unity. Something wonderful happens when God’s people are gathered together for one purpose. Being in one mind and in one accord was the major ingredient on the Day of Pentecost. It is still the key to continual revival today.

  • Unity only happens when men choose to overlook each other’s differences and choose not to be offended.
  • Unity happens to those who forgive their brothers and prays for them.
  • Unity happens when brethren unite for one purpose or goal. Even if there are only two or three who are gathered in His name, God chooses to be in their midst.
  • Pray for unity and God will give you revival.
  • Unity is no accident.
  • Unity brings peace.
  • Unity creates an atmosphere for Worship and The Word.
  • Unity opens the door for a major move of God.

 

Just like parents who are happy when their children love one another and get along. Our Heavenly Father is well pleased when His children love each other, too.

 

Hey, You Know That Brother You Don’t Like?

Never Forget, He’s “Thy Brother… For Whom Christ Died.”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 29, 2017 at 6:43 pm

The Danger Of Being Too Friendly With The Evangelist.

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The Danger Of Being Too Friendly With The Evangelist.

 

On occasion, your Pastor will invite a guest speaker or an evangelist. He wants you to like them and enjoy their ministry. It’s a compliment to his good judgment of preachers and ministries if you do.

Where there becomes an issue that is uncomfortable for your Pastor and his friends are when you give the guest preachers nicer and more frequent compliments than you give to your own Pastor.

After all, he’s the one that worries over you, prays for you, counsels with you and answers to God for you. Not the others. They may like you, they may like you a lot, but there is a line that must be drawn between them and you.

Make sure you give better compliments to your own Pastor than you do to anyone else.

It’s kind of like a man giving another woman a compliment and he doesn’t even compliment his own wife. Something is very wrong in their relationship. Something is very wrong in your relationship with the Man of God if you are guilty concerning this.

A seasoned evangelist can often spot those who have a problem with their Pastor and then try to give the guest speaker the personal attention and honor that belongs to their Man of God.  That is just so wrong.

 

It even gets more complicated than this…

 

There are many Godly, precious people who dearly love their Pastor and would never knowingly do a thing to injure him. In innocence, they attempt to interact with another preacher they admire and sometimes feel put off or hurt because of the lack of warmth in his response to them. Actually, in good conscience, he can’t. So, don’t take it personal. He does like you and appreciates you, he’s just trying to be careful. His allegiance is to your pastor.

In the day of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Messenger, emails and text messaging, don’t try to personally interact with other preachers (unless they are family) no matter how much you like them. It easily becomes quite an uncomfortable position for ‘ethical minded’ preachers.

Don’t expect him to respond to your emails or private messages. His loyalty is to your pastor. Do you realize that if word got out that an evangelist was having conversations, exchanging emails, phone calls, private messages on Facebook, and text messages with saints, that his days as an evangelist are numbered? It’s not right for you or him. Don’t give him your information and don’t let him give you his.

Any contact with other preachers should be directed through your Pastor. If he sees fit to pass your message or request on, then fine. If he doesn’t, then trust his judgment. He knows what he’s doing and why. Your spiritual safety is his greatest concern. Work with him on that.

Guest preachers who ‘work the crowd’ by lingering long with each saint, buttering up them, and learning personal things about their world should raise everyone’s eyebrows. Why would he make comments on your Facebook posts all the time? What’s his motive? Ethical evangelists know to stay on the platform after service or near the Pastor to protect themselves and for proprietary’s sake.

If you don’t understand why, imagine you as a woman contacting, calling, writing or leaving messages for a male acquaintance of your husband.  Or maybe it’s him calling you. Your husband would have serious questions for you both, and rightly so.

If he didn’t run when you attempted to contact him, then if he has even part of a conscience, he would not be comfortable around your Pastor anymore because of guilt. He’d know he had crossed the line of ministerial ethics. His days would be over. It’s not worth it for him or you.

If you love your Pastor then protect him. Protect how he feels about you. Protect his relationship with other preachers. Protect yourself. He’ll love you all the more for it too.

Don’t try to private message other preachers. Don’t force them to cut you off, block you or ignore you. They want you to like them, sure! But they hate it when you push them into an uncomfortable situation.

Don’t walk up and hand them gifts, or even money. If you want to give an extra offering to the evangelist, then talk to your pastor and he will guide you through a process that is comfortable to him.

Any evangelist that would contact you and ask for money or any favor is unethical. They are to be ignored, blocked or unfriended. Their actions should be reported to your pastor immediately.

Your Pastor is to be loved, respected and honored. His office as Pastor is above all others, and I personally thank you for loving him. He’s God’s gift to you and your church. Love him. Show it by your loyalty, and your respect. Let no other preacher, family or not, come between you and your pastor. That is a sacred area that should never be defiled. It is a line that must not be crossed.

 

On his behalf, I thank you.

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm