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Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

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

It’s Come As You Are, Not Stay As You Are!

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It’s Come As You Are, Not Stay As You Are!

 

Come As You Are? Yes.

Stay As You Are? No.

 

Most churches have promoted an open-door policy to every new visitor. They want everyone to feel welcome to attend. Although the Bible doesn’t actually say, “Come as you are,” churches reach for everyone. Apostolic Pentecostal Churches are no different. (But, it might be amazing to see what some actually are willing to wear to God’s House using the ‘come as you are’ umbrella as an excuse!)

 

That, however is not the real problem. Some folks not only come to church as they are, they have chosen to stay as they are. They are not willing to change. They ignore how the saints dress, worship and live. They have chosen not to change or to submit.

 

Living for God is all about change. Completely change. Change is necessary. Change is required. Change is the will of God for everyone. With salvation comes change. With deliverance comes change. Unchanged people have no hope of deliverance, no hope of being a testimony, no hope of being used of God, and no hope of heaven.

 

How Do We Become A “New Creature In Christ Jesus” If We Don’t Change?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

How Do We Become “Transformed” If We Don’t Change?

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

How Do We Become “Born Again” If We Don’t Change?

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

 

How Do We Become “Holy” If We Don’t Change?

1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

How Can We Come Out From Among Them And Be Separate, If We Don’t Change?

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 

How Can We Have Christ In Us And He Never Changes Us?

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

 

Do You Mean To Tell Me That When We Repent We Really Don’t Have To Change Anything?

Do You Mean To Tell Me That When We Get Baptized In Jesus Name, We Don’t Change?

Do You Mean To Tell Me That We Can Be Filled With The Holy Ghost And Never Be Changed?

 

When Jacob Prepared To Go To Bethel, He Changed.

Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

Genesis 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

 

 When normal people come into the presence of the God, they quickly remember their sins. At that point, they must choose to keep them or confess and forsake them.

God might be merciful and forgiving, yet His word tells every confessor to forsake their sins.

If the God you serve lets you do whatever you want, and live like you want, then your god is you. You became your own god!

 

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

 If We Want God’s Mercy, We Must Not Only Confess Our Sins But Forsake Them!

Mercy comes to those who confess and forsake. That is the change God looks for. Forsaking your old life is what living for God is all about.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

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

  •  (And Such Were Some Of You!) That Is Change!

 

Repentance Must Bring Change. If It Doesn’t Bring Change It Wasn’t Real Repentance!

In The Old Testament, God Chose Not To Bless Israel Until They Changed.

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

  • Change Puts Us In The Direct Path Of God’s Blessings.

 

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

 

Let’s Get Real Plain…

If you see a sinner man and a Holy Ghost-filled man standing together talking, you should be able to tell which one is which.

If you see a sinner woman and a Holy Ghost-filled woman standing together talking, you should be able to see the difference.

When we obey Acts 2:38, (by repenting of our sins, getting baptized in Jesus name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.) We are no longer the same. We are changed on the inside. What is changed on the inside quickly shows on the outside!

  • We don’t do the things we used to do
  • We don’t talk like we used to talk
  • We don’t go where we use to go
  • We don’t have the kind of friends we used to have
  • We don’t dress like we used to dress
  • We don’t drink what we used to drink

 

Why?

Because Now We’re A New Creature In Christ Jesus.

 

How Do We Lay Sin Aside And Not Change?

1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

  • (Growth is change, too)

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

  • Removing things from our life that will keep us from being saved, is change.

If we say we are saved, yet remain unchanged… We are not honest with our soul, with God, or with the truth.

 

Our Heart Must Change

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation (our old lifestyle) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

 

Our Speech Must Change

Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

 

Our Outward Appearance Must Change

1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

Change Requires Modesty For Men And Woman

1 Timothy2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1 Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

 

Hair Care Changes

1 Corinthians 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

1 Corinthians 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

 

Our Priorities Must Change

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

Even Our Furniture Must Change

Psalms 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

 

The Things We Love Must Change

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 

We Say We’re A Christian, (Christ-like) And Yet…

  • We’ve Never Changed On The Inside Or The Outside?
  • We Neither Look Like Nor Act Like An Apostolic Saint?

 

Who Are We Fooling? Only Ourselves.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

If we balk at Biblical correction and refuse to allow God’s Word to change our life… then we have shown to everyone that we are not a true child of God. We are of illegitimate birth in the Kingdom of God.

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Hebrews 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

 

What’s Missing In Our Lives That Would Keep Us From Allowing God To Change Us?

No Conviction of Sin?

No Fear of God?

No Respect?

No Obedience to His Word?

No Love for His House?

 

Are we just being Rebellious?

Are we just Clueless?

Are we not able to see that we don’t measure up to God’s Standards?

Are we just Insincere?

 

How can we come to church for months and even years… claiming to be Spirit-filled, and never change?

 

Ask Yourself…

If we had a beard and applied for a job at a company that had a ‘no beards’ policy, would we be willing to change?

If we worked for a fancy restaurant that had a no tattoo ‘visible’ policy for its employees, would we be willing to cover ours?

If we got hired by a good paying company but we had to work nights, would we change our sleeping habits?

If our job gave us a promotion, but we had to relocate, would we be willing to change towns?

If the doctor ordered us to change our diet because of cancer, would we?

If our heart doctor wanted us to change our lifestyle to live longer, would we?

If our homeowner’s association didn’t approve of our lawn display, would we take it down?

What if God reminded us in the Judgment of all the changes in our life that we made for man and for money, yet we chose not to make any changes for Him. What will our answer be then?

 

We Must Allow God To:

Change us like He changes Night into Day, Winter into Spring.

Change us like He changes a Caterpillar into a Butterfly.

 

“Just Stay On The Bus!”

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“This Bus Is Going To Chicago”

 

I often flew out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport when I lived in South Bend, Indiana. It was about 120 miles away. Many times, it was cost-effective for me to take a shuttle bus from the South Bend Airport to the Chicago Airport rather than to drive to Chicago and pay to park.

My wife dropped me off at the Ground Transportation area in the South Bend terminal. I hurriedly picked up my reserved bus ticket.

The waiting area was large and comfortable. I sat where I could see the buses pull up. The bus line originally was called United Limo, and then it later merged with Tri-State Coach and Coach USA. Its company serves Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

I watched as buses with their destinations showing above their windshields began to arrive. I looked for the one that said ‘Chicago’. When it finally pulled up, it was in Lane 2.

I promptly stood up and waited for the announcement over the intercom that it was time to board.

When the bus departure was declared, I hustled outside and presented my suitcase to the Driver. His name tag said ‘Steve.’

“This bus is going to Chicago,” Steve said, verifying I was getting on the right bus.

“Yes sir,” I replied, “That’s where I’m going.

He stowed my suitcase underneath, punched my ticket and I climbed on board.

I settled down for the 2-hour ride to O’Hara. I saw a few others lay their seats back to relax. It looked like a good idea, so I joined them.

About 20 minutes later, I felt the bus swerve onto an off-ramp. I curiously looked around wondering what the deal was. They told me this was the Chicago bus and this wasn’t Chicago.

I sat up and waited. The driver looped around behind an old service station/café building and stopped in the front. The air brakes hissed as the Driver announced, “LaPorte”

We sat there a few moments and several more passengers got on board. No one got off. In five minutes we were back on the highway again.

Another twenty minutes or so later we again turned off the big four-lane highway and stopped in front of a motel. This time driver said, “Michigan City.” One got off, and one got on.

Once again, we were rolling down the road. This time we were on the I-94 west-bound. We did good for a while, then the driver stopped again. This time, the name he said on the bus intercom was, “Portage.” Four more got on board. No one got off.

I wondered, how many more stops before we get there? I was not surprised when the bus turned off the road again and stopped at Griffith. Three got off there, but seven or eight got on board. The bus was pretty full.

The last hour of the ride was non-stop. We finally pulled up to the Bus Parking Area of the Airport’s lower level.

“Chicago,” Steve said. I stood up.  I had made it to my destination. It wasn’t anything I did. It’s what I didn’t do that got me there. I didn’t get off the bus. I just stayed on the bus, even when others got off.

I could have gotten off at any of the stops along the way, but I didn’t. That’s why I arrived at my destination. I just stayed on the bus.

I do not believe in individual predestination. I do believe in corporate predestination, however. The Word of God firmly declares, that His Church is predestined for Glory. All you have to do is stay on the bus and since the bus is predestined; you will go where it goes. Just don’t get off this bus.

Some may be tempted to get off the bus along life’s journey. You can if you want too, but you should know, this is the only bus going to Glory. Don’t get off.  Someone else will take your seat if you do.

I don’t care who else gets off, or what the attraction or distraction is, just stay on the bus!

“This Bus Is Going To Chicago!”

 

Just Stay On The Bus!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Why Doesn’t That Scripture Work For You?

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Why Doesn’t That Scripture Work For You?

 

Those of us who knew ‘Tucker’, never heard what his first name was. We just called him by his last name, Tucker. The group of us that were ‘40’ something, never failed to enjoy his oddball humor. Tucker was maybe 55 or 60 and a local folk hero of sorts.

He was just an old bachelor who didn’t seem to be blessed with many social graces. No one ever saw him chatting with the ladies, or even the men very much, for that matter. Tucker was a loner. We usually only got to see him when we visited a friend’s church anniversary service.

His clothing probably never received many compliments. His thick-framed glasses always sat askance on his nose. The lopsided glasses attracted our attention. We were fascinated. How could anyone be comfortable with their glasses sitting whomper-jawed on their face? It never bothered Tucker.

To complicate the matter, he held his mouth kind of funny when he talked. It looked like he was talking out of the side of his mouth. He never talked fast. He drug out his words in a near monotone voice. Whenever he testified in church, we gave him our full attention.

Tucker always sat on the front row.  When he stood to testify, he stood with an open Bible, just in case he needed to read a Scripture.

His testimonies were often memorable. One of my favorites was, “I thank the Lord that I’ve been saved five-fourths of my life.”

One night, Tucker stood and waited his turn. When he was called on, he took his time and read a verse from his big Bible.

Isa. 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

He stressed the ‘run and not be weary’ part with his voice. With all eyes on him, Tucker slowly laid the Bible down and took off running. Well, kind of lumbering really. He ran laps around the church. He ran long enough that the organ started to play a chorus. The people sang along.

After what seemed like 12 laps or so, Tucker crumbled on the floor in front of the pulpit completely out of breath. His chest was heaving, his face was red and he didn’t move for a minute. When Tucker finally struggled to his feet, the organ and the singing stopped.

Tucker continued with his testimony. He looked at the congregation, shrugged his shoulders, he then turned toward the preacher, and while holding his arms out in a sign of failure, said: “That Scripture don’t work for me!”

______________

 

Bro. Tucker may not be the only one who feels like there is a scripture doesn’t work for them. If so, then that begs the question: Why doesn’t that scripture work for you?

  • Could it be because you didn’t read it right?
  • Could it be because you misinterpreted the verse?
  • Could it be because you misapplied the scripture?

 

To explain my point, let’s look at a few verses:

 

She Offended Me and the Bible says nothing is supposed to offend them…

Psa. 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

 

Someone might say, “I don’t understand this verse. I am very offended by what she said to me.

That scripture doesn’t work for me”

Please read the verse in its entire context. It is talking about God’s Word. The Law. If you LOVE His Law… Then NOTHING in the LAW will offend you. People may always offend you if you let them. Jesus even said that offenses will come. But, if the Word of God offends you then you are not really in love with the Law. That scripture will work for you.

 

Lay Hands Suddenly On No Man

1 Tim. 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

So, do you hesitate around the altar and resist praying for someone because of this verse? Well, you shouldn’t because it has nothing to do with praying for seekers in the altar. The verse is dealing with ordaining ministers and sending them out to preach. The Elders are warned to be careful laying hands on just anyone and ordaining them to preach. That may be why that scripture wasn’t working for you, you just took a verse out of context and made it mean something else.

 

Your Baptism Scripture Doesn’t Work For You?

Jesus gave His Disciples orders on how to baptize all believers:

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

The reason your baptism scripture isn’t working for you, may be because you didn’t fully obey the command. The command was just repeated, and not obey. They baptized you without saying what the name was. Jesus is the name.

Your sins are not washed away unless the Name of Jesus is said over you in baptism! That is why Peter said what he did on the Day of Pentecost when he quoted and fulfilled the last words of Jesus to His Disciples.

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

That’s why the New Testament ONLY baptized in Jesus Name!

Jerusalem:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Samaria:

Act 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Household of Cornelius:

Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Ephesus:

Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

Baptism ONLY works if the minister pronounced the Name of Jesus over you when you were baptized!

I can help you find a church that will baptize you the Bible way. In Jesus Name!

 

In Conclusion:

ALL Scripture Will Work For You!

Just believe it, obey it, and see.

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Your Performance Interview With God Is Coming!

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Your Performance Interview With God Is Coming

What if God called you on the carpet? What if He asked you some personal questions about your conduct… spiritual and otherwise?

Employees of many companies are given performance interviews on a scheduled basis. Some of the questions asked by the interviewer are similar to some of those I once found at www.jobinterviewquestions.org.

Performance Interview Questions

  • Tell me about your last position and what you did.
  • Tell me about the last time you made a mistake and how you corrected it.
  • If you don’t leave your current job, what will happen there? How far can you advance?
  • Of all the work you have done, where have you been most successful?
  • I see you were unemployed for a period of time. Tell me about it.
  • Give me an example of when you’ve demonstrated your customer service skills.
  • How do you define continuous improvement? What is the last new procedure you integrated into your job?
  • What makes you stand out among your peers?
  • What have you done to reduce your department’s operational costs or to save time?
  • What would your current supervisors say makes you most valuable to them?
  • If I asked your boss to evaluate your performance, what would he or she say?
  • Have you held positions similar to this one? If so, tell me about them.
  • What is the most important thing you learned at a previous job?
  • What did/do you enjoy most/least about your last/present job?
  • If there were two things you could have changed about that job, what would they be?
  • How did your job change while you held it?
  • What qualifications do you have that make you successful in this field?
  • What have you learned from previous jobs?
  • Describe a typical day at work.
  • How have your previous positions prepared you for this one?
  • What parts of your job do you consider most important?
  • What job tasks do you feel most successful doing?
  • What special skills or knowledge have you gained to help in this job?
  • Describe an important project you worked on.
  • You have a lot of experience. Why would you want this job?
  • What do you consider your greatest strength?
  • What is your most significant professional accomplishment?
  • What was the last job-related book you read?
  • What was your favorite job? Why?

As 2017 comes to a close, so does another year of living for the Lord. If He were to ask us about our performance in His Kingdom this year, how would we do? Could we answer His questions easily? Would our heads have to drop after the Lord asked us a direct question? Here is a list of possible questions He might ask:

The Lord’s 2017 Performance Interview Questions

  • What if He asked about the Spirit and Attitude we manifested this year?
  • What if the Lord asked us about our obedience or our Submission?
  • If the question of Soul-Winning came up, how would we score?
  • If questions about our involvement in Worship were asked, what would the answer be?
  • What would happen if the Lord asked us about our Prayer Life in 2017?
  • Would the answer be favorable to you if there were questions about paying your Tithes
  • and giving in Offerings?
  • Faithfulness in church attendance is sure to be asked. How would you do on that one?
  • Surely, a question about any unwillingness to Forgive will be asked.
  • Would He ask about the display of the Lusts of our Flesh?
  • Would Jealousy or Envy be mentioned?
  • A lack of Brotherly Love, or not Preferring One Another, will not sit well with Him.
  • What if the Lord asked us about our lack of Sacrifice in service, or in giving?
  • Would any questions about our involvement in Gossip put us in a bad light?
  • What if the subject of Tale Bearing came up?
  • If we were asked about Criticizing our Pastor, what would the answer be?
  • Surely the Lord will act questions about our showing any signs of Loving Pleasure More
  • Than The Things Of God.
  • What is He asked us about our Love of the World?
  • Do you think He might ask us why we had a problem with Holiness?
  • Would there be any questions about Loving Our Neighbor?
  • What if He asked us if we Love Him with All Of Our Heart, Our Soul, And Our Might, And
  • Our Strength?

I pray that you do well in your Interview with the Lord. (He already knows the answers, before He asks.)

If you’ll pardon me, for a while… I think I’ll have a talk with Him right now. I need to before He talks to me later!

There is coming a Day when we shall all stand before Him, as we are judged. That Interview will be both an Entrance Interview for some, and an Exit Interview for others!

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

(May your Performance Interview of 2017 end with Joy, and not with Grief!)

Join me in pledging to do better and do more for Him in 2018! May we all hear Him say in that day, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

The Holier Than Thou Church

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The Holier Than Thou Church

It was Wednesday night Bible Class. Brother Dan sat on the front row. He always seemed to have a smile on his face. His recent discharge from the Air Force had allowed him, his wife and two kids to relocate closer to his wife’s family.

Dan was a gifted musician. He blessed the church with his saxophone playing. He had only been a part of this new church about 3 weeks or so. He was readily accepted and seemed to fit in.

The pastor had warmly received him and his family into fellowship because Dan’s former pastor had recommended they transfer there. Dan and his family had been raised in a very conservative church.

The only immediate difference Dan could see was that in this new church they wore wristwatches and in his old church they didn’t.

The pastor was teaching his class from a small lectern in front of the pulpit. During the course of his Bible study, he noticed that Bro. Dan wasn’t wearing a watch.

Having been raised with great respect for those with convictions and a desire for holiness, the pastor honored Bro. Dan.

Yet he sensed a potential hazard and attempted to address it openly, yet as careful as he could.

The Pastor stood in front of the congregation as said, ”Bro. Dan, you and your family are a gift from God to our church. I am so glad you are here! What a blessing you have been already. I love your saxophone playing.”

The church readily responded with a hearty amen and hand clapping.

“I notice that you don’t wear a watch. I also understand that was the teaching of the church you were in before you came here.”

Bro. Dan nodded in agreement. The smile was still on his face.

“I honor you for that. Thank God for those that are trying to be careful in a world that tries to push all the boundaries.

“My Pastor taught me not to make light of people’s convictions. They might be right.”

The people said amen, and so did the smiling Bro. Dan.

“I guess you’ve noticed that most of us here have a watch on.” The preacher said as he pointed to his own black wristwatch.

“We try to be careful here how we dress. Up to now, we have used watches for the purpose of getting to work, school, and church on time, and not for ornamentation.

“What I do not want you to do my Brother, is to go out and buy yourself a wristwatch and wear one because the rest of us are. I am afraid that you will injure your conscience. I can’t let you do that.

“Promise me you won’t injure your conscience and buy a watch just because you can, and hurt your walk with God.”

Brother Dan nodded and grinned.

“On the other hand,” the Pastor said, “If you don’t buy a watch, be careful and don’t let a holier-than-thou spirit get on you. If you don’t buy a watch, that’s fine, but don’t sit back and look at saints and at a Pastor with watches and think to yourself that you have more holiness convictions than anyone here. That gets dangerous.

“What happens when you do that is you begin to feel superior, and before very long the enemy may speak into your spirit and say, ‘How can the Pastor help you? You are already closer to God than he is.’

“You then wind up with an unteachable spirit and you won’t even mean too. One of the signs of the Holy Ghost is that it is easy to be entreated.

“Before you would ever do that and allow yourself to feel superior to your Pastor, I will order you to buy two wristwatches and wear one on each wrist until you get over that spirit.”

The Pastor, Bro. Dan and the church all shared a hearty laugh.

At the next service, Bro. Dan showed his pastor his new watch and smiled. The Pastor smiled too. Bro. Dan was teachable. He didn’t want a holier than thou spirit.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm

We Will Adjust To Your Lifestyle

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We Will Adjust To Your Lifestyle

 

The dietary nurse stood beside my Memphis hospital bed with a clipboard in her hand. I was confident that I already knew the speech she was about to give me. I’d heard it almost seven years earlier, the first time I had gotten blood clots.

“Is this the Anti-Vitamin K speech?” I asked her, expecting that I would not be able to eat anything green as long I was on the Coumadin blood thinner again. Nothing green had entered my mouth in over a year during my first bout with blood clots.

“Oh No!” she responded with enthusiasm.

“We don’t do it that way any more. We now adjust the medicine to fit your lifestyle. We’ve had too many complaints from our patients. They didn’t want to change, so we changed. They didn’t want to change how they ate. That’s why we changed our approach to the treatment of blood clots. We now tell the patient to keep eating like they always have and we will adjust the medicine to suit them.” She said this with a big smile, feeling certain I would share her enthusiasm.

“Really?” I said with my eyebrows raised in surprise.

“Yes,” she said. “For example, if you eat two helpings of turnip greens this week, then just eat two helpings of turnip greens next week too. Keep on living like you always have and we will adjust the meds to adapt to your lifestyle.”

I looked at her not believing my ears. I remembered the many monthly trips I had made to medical labs around the country to let them draw my blood for a PT-INR test. The results were faxed to my doctor so he could check up on my dietary compliance.

She smiled and assured me that I now could have all the salads, green beans, and broccoli I wanted. This news was unreal. The doctor would adjust the medicine to accommodate me. I wasn’t going to be required to change. The doctor and the medication would have to change, but not me. I could live like I always had.

My mind went back to the incident Bro. Wayne Huntley experienced with his heart some years ago. When he returned for his check up one year later, the doctor congratulated him and said, “Most of the patients like you do not make it to their first year check up because they refuse to change their diet. You’ve changed how you live, that’s why you are still here.”

 

Gentle Reader? The reason you got sick in the first place was because of how you were living, and now you say you want to be healed but aren’t willing to change? Oh my!

 

What was I missing? Doctors once required their patients to change and adjust their lifestyle, but not any more? Some tell me it’s progressive thinking. But then again, that is the spirit and mindset of the end times, especially for the church.

Evidently, not many want to change their lifestyle to live for Jesus. Over a hundred years ago church folk sang songs like:

 

Leaving All to Follow Jesus

Ida M. Budd, 1898

 

Leaving all to follow Jesus,

Turning from the world away,

Stepping out upon the promise,

All I have is His today.

 

Refrain:

Leaving all to follow Jesus,

Turning from the world away,

Stepping out upon His promise,

All I have is His today.

 

Some folks don’t want to give up much anymore to live for God. There are women who say they are Pentecostal but still wear their flashy jewelry and make up. They certainly want to wear their tight pants. Even if God did say it was an abomination, it doesn’t bother them. They will not change. They want the preacher to adjust his doctrine and standards to suit their lifestyle while they keep on wearing their skinny short skirts and other immodest apparel. Holiness is distasteful to them.

What do the preachers do about it? Not much as a rule. A surprising number of Pentecostal pastors are presenting the Gospel of Christ in much the same way as my dietary nurse. Pastors who are people pleasers are not God pleasers. The Scripture calls them ‘hirelings’. They are pastors who are not real shepherds. They are employees of the people, nothing more. The wishes of people govern their form of the Gospel, (Which is not a Gospel.) They are truly Laodicean.

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

 

To understand the meaning of the word ‘Laodicean,’ and why it is used in this passage, examine the Greek root words from which it is derived: Laos (Strong’s #2992, meaning ‘people’) and Dike (Strong’s #1349), meaning ‘principle, decision’. Laodiceans trusted in their own ability to rule themselves, judging and deciding matters while disregarding Christ and His rule in the Church. The people wanted to rule the church. They didn’t want a pastor who was a God-called pastor to lead them. But, that is really nothing new. The same problem existed in the Old Testament.

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

 

Oh yes! Some like their modern churches with their hireling pastors because no inward or outward change is required. (Just put your money in the basket.)

 

On The Other Hand, The Bible Is Full Of Examples Of Men Changing:

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

 

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

2Cor 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 

The Rich Young Ruler didn’t want to change.

Ruth was willing to change.

 

No one in God’s Kingdom will ever be healed of sin until they are willing to change. Even before the Holy Ghost was given, Jesus continually reminded those He healed to go their way and sin no more. He told them to change.

 

Obedience Always Brings Change.

Arguments Come From The Disobedient Attempting To Defend Themself.

 

The reason you argue about Holiness is because you don’t want to change your way of living. You want to find a church that will preach a message that comfortably conforms to how you want to live, and you will.

Don’t tell me you are not convicted by what is written in the Bible. Don’t even say you’ve prayed about it and don’t feel it’s necessary to obey. If it’s in the Bible, believe it and obey it!

Men change, fellowships and organizations change. Denominations change. God’s Word NEVER changes. The very fact that your hireling pastor won’t preach and enforce God’s Word should be enough to keep you up at night. How can you stay in a church with a compromising pastor and a worldly congregation who like it like that?

In the Old Testament, Israel never argued about God’s Holiness requirements. They just obeyed. On the Day of Pentecost no one argued about the need of Jesus Name baptism or the need of the Holy Ghost. They just repented, got baptized in Jesus Name and were filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

Paul changed every day. (1Co 15:31… I die daily.)

 

The High School Driving Instructor taught my class, in 1960, that the average driver makes approximately sixty corrections or adjustments per minute while driving. What if they didn’t make any changes or adjustments?

When a couple marries they must make adjustments and changes, those who refuse will likely divorce.

If someone wanted to play on the football team, they must be willing to change their life to reach that goal. If they don’t change, they won’t make the team. Yet, in living for God, with Heaven in view, we foolishly refuse to change. Why?

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 25, 2016 at 11:28 pm