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Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

Faithfulness

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 22, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Why We Fight

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Why We Fight!

 

The US Military showed films in Basic Training during World War II to explain to all the new recruits the purpose of defending America to keep it free and what would happen to us if we didn’t fight. The old 16mm film was also called “Why We Fight.” The church is at war with the enemy of our soul. There are attacks on every side. Here are some of the reasons why the church must fight sin, worldliness and our own flesh.

 

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Fight Back!!

Fight Back!!

Fight Back!!

 

 

 

At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

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At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

In the 1980’s electronic chess games became the rage in certain cerebral circles. One particular model would ask its user, as soon as the power button was switched on, “At what level do you wish to play?”

Everyone knew it was just a game. The unit was a cheap handheld device that anyone could play. The user could play in the beginner mode, or even play at the expert level. No one would criticize the level he or she played. It was just a game, and it was only played for fun.

But The Question It Asked Is Still Valid In Real Life Today. At What Level Do You Wish To Play (Or Participate)?

‘Live Like You Were Dying’ is the title of a popular song made somewhat famous a few years ago. The message from just the title of the song is enough to make one think about prioritizing their life.

Like the electronic chess game, some things are just for entertainment, and some things are mainly used to pass the time. Then there are other things that have life and death importance attached. Our souls get intertwined in the process. You have to know which ones are which.

 

Your Friendships

Your God-fearing friends tell the world the level at which you wish to play.

Your worldly friendships probably display the level you really wish to play. If that is the level you wish to play, so be it.

Friends are more than just pals. Your friends matter to God.

  • They Influence you.
  • They generate peer pressure that will change you.
  • They can take you away from God.
  • They can bring you closer to God.
  • Chose your friends carefully. You will soon become what they are.
  • What do your friendships today say about the level you have chosen to play?
  • In Your Friendships, At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

 

Your Marriage

The way you cherish your spouse and give yourself to your marriage tells your family, friends and the whole wide world the level you have chosen to play.

  1. God becomes deeply interested and involved in your relationship with your spouse.
  2. His Word even directs you how to love and express your love to each other.
  • Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
  • Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
  1. He pays attention to your mistreatment and neglect.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
  1. Those who have trouble at home soon have trouble in church. The Lord knows that, you should too.

In Your Marriage, At What Level Do You Wish To Play?

 

At Church

Your Response And Involvement:

  • In the Worship service says volumes about the level you wish to play.
  • In the Prayer room shows the level you are playing.
  • In the Altar service shows the level you are playing.
  • In Outreach shows the level you are playing.
  • In Giving To Missions shows the level you are playing.
  • In Giving Your Tithes shows the level you are playing.
  • In the way you argue about Standards shows the level you are playing.
  • In Obeying God’s Word shows the level you are playing.

Your Reaction to the Preaching even when it corrects you makes clear the level you wish to play.

Saying Amen to the Word tells God, the devil, the Pastor and the Church family the level you wish to play.

Pictures and Posts on Social media sites tell everyone the level at which you are probably really playing.

Old timers used the phrase, Playing Church. Never let that be said about you.

Living For God Is Not A Game.

At Church, What Level Do You Wish To Play?

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

You Say That You Want to Go To Heaven? I’m Really Not Convinced.

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You Say That You Want to Go To Heaven? I’m Really Not Convinced.

You say to me that you are an Apostolic Pentecostal. To me, that means you have repented of your sins and have been baptized by immersion in Jesus Name, and have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in tongues. If this is true, surely Heaven must be on your mind!

So then, if that is who you are, then we need to talk a bit. The reasons I want to talk to you are because of what I have been hearing and seeing lately.

 

You’ve Been Missing Church.

Gold CityFirst of all, I hear that you’ve not been very faithful to your regular church services. How come? What’s the matter? Why is it easy for you to miss church? Why do you put your soul in jeopardy? You must not be very serious about being saved.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

You don’t or won’t come to church faithfully, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Love Sports More than You Love God.

They tell me that you miss a lot of church, yet you faithfully go to ball games and sporting events. Now that really bothers me. Why are you so willing to sit in an arena full of sinners and let your heart beat as one with theirs, yet you don’t let your heart, as a saint, beat as one with them for Him in the church? You know better.

You can quote all the stats of the major teams. You know their names, their rankings, their coaches and when they play next. Yet, you struggle to remember and quote scriptures. Doesn’t that tell you where your heart really is? You must not be very serious about being saved.

2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2 Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

You are wrapped up in sports more than church, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Don’t Have A Teachable Spirit.

I see that you question every standard in the church and argue almost every point of doctrine. It’s like you want to change the whole church to suit you.

Some around you get the opinion that you think you know more than your teachers. That you are right and everyone else is wrong. You don’t seem to be teachable. You must not be very serious about being saved.

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

You are don’t want anyone to teach you because you know it all, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Don’t Pay Your Tithes.

You complain that you can’t afford to pay tithes. That makes me really disappointed in you. The bottom line is that you cannot afford not to pay tithes.

Your argument doesn’t hold much water though when everyone sees that you continue to spend your money on pleasures and life comforts. Don’t you know it’s dangerous to rob God? You know better than to walk around with God’s money in your pocket. You must not be very serious about being saved.

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

You don’t or won’t pay tithes faithfully, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Prayer Life Is Dead.

How come I haven’t been seeing you in the prayer room very much before church? Your soul needs God’s touch every day. You must not be very serious about being saved.

Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

You don’t or won’t even visit the prayer room, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Don’t Worship Anymore.

Your responses in the services to worship and preaching lately have not been good at all. That is a sign that you are spiritually sick.

Worship is everyone’s business. Especially yours. It is a requirement, you know. Don’t tell me that it is not your nature to be demonstrative. When you were born again, you were given a new nature, use it.

Besides, you show plenty of emotion playing a ball game, catching a big fish, and even celebrating a birthday party. Yet, you sit mummified at church. What’s the deal? You must not be very serious about being saved.

Psalm 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

You don’t or won’t worship, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You’ve Been Dressing Just Like The World.

Whatever the fad or fashion of the world is, you are so quick to follow. No one can see much difference between you or them.

Your willingness to sacrifice your modesty for fashion is sad. It seems that you desire to look more like movie stars than to be God’s light in this dark world. You have shown no visible testimony. We were counting on you.

On Facebook and other social media you post pictures of yourself and your family that should have embarrassed you as a Pentecostal. But it didn’t. It embarrasses the rest of us though. You seem to have lost your shame. You know better.

Holiness is not only on the inside. What is in the heart soon shows on the outside. And, what’s in your heart is definitely showing. Evidently, your love for style and fashion of this world has made you ignore Scripture about modest apparel. You must not be very serious about being saved.

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.

When women cut their hair, put on make up, jewelry or wear pants, mini-skirts and shorts, and still say that want to go to heaven? I’m not convinced.

When men grow their hair long, wear shorts and tank tops, drink alcohol and get tattoos, and still say that want to go to heaven. I’m not convinced.

 

You Are Dating A Sinner.

Why would you be so foolish as to play the same game Samson did? He lost and you will too. The very fact that you are attracted to ungodly thinking people doesn’t say much in your favor. Why are you willing to risk everything? You must not be very serious about being saved.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

You love the people who love what God hates, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m not convinced.

 

You Are Looking At Someone Else, And You’re Already Married.

How can you even think God is ok with your conduct? You must not be very serious about being saved.

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

You have exhibited the spirit of adultery, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m not convinced.

 

You Let You Job Keep You Out Of Church.

You and I both know how the devil works. Why do you ignore that? No job is worth putting your soul in jeopardy over. If you really wanted to be in church you would find a way, even if it means changing jobs.

Don’t let your ‘need’ for money drive you away from God or His house. You must not be very serious about being saved.

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

You are spending your life chasing the dollar, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m not convinced.

 

You Have Become Hateful.

Your mean spirit has caused you to spread hurtful rumors about others. You seem to be filled with bitterness and refuse to let it all go or put it under the blood. Why do you seem to delight holding grudges?

You have caused discord and division in the house of God. God’s Kingdom only thrives on unity and you are destroying that. You are hindering revival. God is not happy. You must not be very serious about being saved.

Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Proverbs 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Proverbs 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

You cause division and discord in the house of God, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Are Rebellious, And No Different To God Than A Witch Doctor.

So you don’t want anyone telling you what to do or how to live? You would readily believe what you want, and would change churches rather than submit and obey. You must not be very serious about being saved.

1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

You have lived in rebellion against the man of God for years, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Are In Love With Hollywood.

All you seem to talk about is your favorite movie or what you watched last night. Movie Night must be the in-thing now for you right now.

You know all the actors in each sitcom. And, you don’t seem to be too careful about telling it either. Your love for entertainment is so strong. I don’t see you easily turning around very easily.

Would you be comfortable sitting there watching your movie with Jesus sitting beside you? I don’t think so. You must not be very serious about being saved.

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.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

You love Hollywood more than God it seems, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Don’t Even Respond To Altar Calls.

When God gives you a chance to recover yourself and to be restored, you make no move.

The altar is not only where you got saved, it’s where you stay saved. You and I both know that a good old-fashioned praying through would solve all of your spiritual and emotional problems. Why then do you wait?

Your refusal or reluctance to consecrate and pray through is a sign that you are not thinking about heaven. You’ve been avoiding the altar. You must not be very serious about being saved.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

You don’t or won’t pray through, and you still say you want to go to heaven? I’m really not convinced.

 

You Say, “God Already Knows My Heart, Why Do I Have To Convince A Preacher?

Don’t even go there. To even ask that, you must not be very serious about being saved.

If your pastor makes it to heaven, he must to give an account of you before the Lord. God will ask him about you. You really do need a pastor to be saved. You cannot make it on your own.

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

 

You Must Change.

If you want to go to heaven, it is time right now to start doing something about it. You know what to do. Give God a life that He can bless. He wants to bless you, so give Him the chance.

It is not too late to turn around. Be a light in this dark world. Let your light shine unto them. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Live for God with all your heart.

Don’t even think about compromising anymore. Don’t keep cutting corners with God. Get in church like never before.

But, don’t try to get back where you used to be or you’ll wind up again where you are right now. Get more than you’ve ever had. Really pray through this time. Be filled with the Spirit.

If you will pray through and change, and say you want to go to heaven, I’ll really be convinced.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Finding God In Your Failures

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Finding God In Your Failures

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

My Failure Shows Me…

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

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

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

The Phases Of Failure

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

 Repentance – Restoration

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

 

Don’t Give Up On Yourself!

Luke Chapter 15

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

 

What God Knows About My Failure

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

Lessons I Should Learn From My Failure

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

 

Failure Focus

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

Faith focus

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

 

Getting Past Your Failures

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

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

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

 

Why Does God Go Through The Trouble To Restore You?

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

 

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

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

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

It Was In Failure These People Found God.

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

 

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

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 11, 2014 at 10:57 am

God Hates Selfies

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God Hates Selfies

Love Thy Neighbor As Thy Selfie

Love Thy Neighbor As Thy Selfie?

Every Social media seems to be loaded with pictures that users take of themselves. (When someone uses their camera or cellphone to take their own picture, that photo is called a ‘selfie’.) Some seem to be consumed with the daily posting of these pictures.

To the average viewer looking at the different poses everyday, it does seem to be a bit much over the top at times.

In 2013, the word “selfie” made it into the official Oxford dictionary. In fact, it was the “word of the year”.

But, getting back to the title of this post. Does God really hate selfies? He sure does. Humor me just a moment and see what I’m talking about.

He Doesn’t Like Your Selfies Unless He’s In It Too. He Doesn’t Want To Be A Photo Bomb In Your Selfie. He Wants To Be The Main Focus Of The Whole Picture.

As a very young man, I was leading the worship service one evening in our local church in South Bend. After service, my father, the pastor, said he wanted to talk to me a moment. That didn’t seem like it was going to be a good thing for me, from the sound of his voice.

Dad: “Son, have you noticed that God never seems to bless that chorus you sang tonight?”

Me: “What chorus dad?”

Dad: “Working for a mansion, a robe and a crown… that will be glory for me.”

Me: “No sir, I never noticed that.”

Dad: “Well… if you are going to lead the worship in this church you need to pay attention to what songs God blesses and which ones He doesn’t bless.”

Me: gulp,  “Yes sir… I’m very sorry.”

Dad: “The reason He doesn’t bless that song here is because it is all about us. It’s about self. It’s not about Him. If you want the blessings of God on a song service, sing about Him. Sing about His mercy, sing about His grace, sing about His love, sing about His power, sing about His blood, sing about His Word, and sing about His Name. Sing about Him and He will always bless it.”

Me: “Yes sir. Thank you Daddy. Thank you very much!”

2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, 

In a generation dedicated to the pleasuring of its flesh, selfies just seem to be normal. But in His World, our self must decrease so that He might increase. He must be the Lord of all. He delights in our promotion of His Kingdom.

Never Forget That God Is A Jealous God.

Only when we humble and abase ourselves do we find the secret of exaltation.

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.

The Gospel compels us to focus on Him and others, not on ourselves. It challenges us to get past our own little world and minister to others.

It asks us to go into the darkness around us and be the light of the world so that the glorious light of the Gospel can shine abroad unto the lost.

So, focus your heart’s camera on Him right now, take the best picture you can and then go show it to someone who has never seen anyone like Him before.

Remember… He ONLY likes ‘selfies’ when He is included in the picture.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

When’s The Last Time You Really Prayed Through?

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When’s The Last Time You Really Prayed Through?

No, I don’t mean when is the last time you knelt and prayed. I am not even asking about the last time you prayed and cried. I don’t even want to know about when was the last time you spoke in tongues.

 

But, What I Want To Know Is…

  • When was the last time you really prayed through?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you surrendered to His Will and ignored yours?
  • When was the last time you prayed until laid your all on the altar?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you felt truly changed?
  • When was the last time you prayed until your soul felt renewed?
  • When was the last time you prayed until victory and His joy enveloped you?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you knew your problem had just become history?
  • When was the last time you prayed until everyone else could tell that you had?
  • When was the last time you prayed until everyone else could see the difference?
  • When was the last time you prayed until your attitude changed?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you treated others betters?
  • When was the last time you prayed until chose to make things right?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you quit blaming others?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you whole-heartedly repented?
  • When was the last time you prayed until your worship became exuberant?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you loved everyone?
  • When was the last time you prayed until your marriage became safe?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you put God before your desires?
  • When was the last time you prayed until everyone in your family felt secure?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you never wanted to be like your were?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you lost you bitterness?
  • When was the last time you prayed until lost your hatred and hurts?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you lost track of time?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you felt Divine strength?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you had God’s answer in your heart?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you no longer had a problem with standards?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you no longer had a problem with Holiness?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you no longer had a problem with Pastoral Authority?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you could say amen to all of the Word of God?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you quit justifying yourself?

 

When’s The Last Time You Really Prayed Through?

  • Really Praying Through eliminates most counseling trips to the pastor’s office.
  • Really Praying Through stops all petty fighting.
  • Really Praying Through ends jealous rivalry.
  • Really Praying Through stops wandering eyes.
  • Really Praying Through puts homes back together.
  • Really Praying Through puts God’s blessings anew upon your life.
  • Really Praying Through strengthens your walk with God.
  • Really Praying Through makes the world look unattractive.
  • Really Praying Through puts fire in your spiritual bones.
  • Really Praying Through puts you in a position that God can use.
  • Really Praying Through keeps the devil at bay.
  • Really Praying Through blesses the whole church family.
  • Really Praying Through keeps your soul safe.
  • Really Praying Through puts a testimony in your soul.
  • Really Praying Through makes you a better witness.
  • Really Praying Through makes you a light in a dark world.
  • Really Praying Through keeps God the center of your home.

 

When’s The Last Time You Really Prayed Through?

  • I don’t mean a little prayer.
  • I don’t mean a little tweaking of the soul.
  • I don’t mean a $2.00 tune up.
  • I mean a major $2000.00 overhaul.
  • I mean an overhaul so good that your spiritual engine doesn’t hit and miss anymore.
  • I mean an overhaul so good that your spiritual engine starts when it’s cold outside.
  • I mean an overhaul so good that your spiritual engine runs right.
  • I mean an overhaul so good that your engine doesn’t leave you stranded between here and home.

 

When’s The Last Time You Really Prayed Through?

  • When you really Pray Through, Heaven will know.
  • When you really Pray Through, Hell will know.
  • When you really Pray Through, the Church will know.
  • When you really Pray Through, the Pastor will know.
  • When you really Pray Through, your enemies will know.
  • When you really Pray Through, your friends will know.
  • When you really Pray Through, your family will know.
  • When you really Pray Through, you will know.

 

When’s The Last Time You Really Prayed Through?

  • When was the last time you prayed until you got lost in the Spirit?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you the Spirit wrapped you up in love?
  • When was the last time you prayed until the Holy Ghost made intercession for you?
  • When was the last time you prayed until your eyes nearly swelled shut?
  • When was the last time you prayed until the world lost its glow?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you got a taste of Heaven?
  • When was the last time you prayed until you got deliverance?
  • When was the last time you prayed until the heartache was gone?
  • When was the last time you prayed until rejoicing took over?
  • When was the last time you prayed until there was a shout in your soul?
  • When was the last time you prayed until the whole world looked better?
  • When was the last time you prayed until God’s purpose for you was revealed?
  • When was the last time you prayed until God smiled upon you?

 

When’s The Last Time You Really Prayed Through?

 

What Are You Waiting For?

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

Who Are You To Judge Me? – Repost

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“Who Are You To Judge Me?”

How many times have we heard someone say that, whether it was directed to us or to someone else? It’s easy for most of us to get offended when others express disapproval of our actions.

By nature, most of us are very private. We resent outsiders intruding uninvited into our personal lives. Wegg57234595 automatically throw up a defensive barrier. Somewhere in all of us there is a storage room that houses cryptic phrases designed for rebuttal and justification. We quickly grab one and use it with the hopes of silencing our accuser. Sometimes, it works.

Most church members and ex-church member alike consider the act of judging a grievous fault. So, since most of us have been judged at one time or another, let us look at the subject of judging others.

As citizens, we are used to being judged every day on our skills, behavior, and performance.

Judgment Is Common In Every Day Society

  • Television shows, such as American Idol, judge contestants on their ability to sing and perform.
  • At the County Fair, someone will judge which pie is the best.
  • There are judges at dog shows, and the dollar value of someone’s beloved pet may be at their mercy.
  • When a prospective new driver turns 16 years old, his or her driving ability is judged. Someone must determine if they should be issued a driver’s license.
  • To be promoted to the next grade and even graduate, a teacher must determine the student’s academic ability.
  • To become a licensed minister in an organization. An applicant’s worthiness is determined when he appears before a licensing board.
  • Every new pastor that is voted on by the church has his qualifications judged by the congregation’s yes or no vote. The same holds true for politicians.
  • The Bank Officer judges the applicants credit rating and payment history before loaning any money.
  • The Miss America beauty pageant uses Judges to determine who should represent the U.S.A.
  • There are multitudes of judges for every Olympic event.
  • The gardener judges whether or not the tree’s branches need pruned, or if the tomatoes need watered.
  • Someone will be a judge over who gets custody of the child, and who gets what, in the divorce settlement.
  • The Traffic Cop judges whether or not you should be pulled over and cited.
  • Every employee knows the meaning of a “Performance Review.” Someone must sit on the other side of the desk and judge the employees worthiness.
  • Actually, everyone that wants the bragging rights of being the best, the fastest, or the most gifted, must first meet the judge.

We seem to be comfortable with the idea of being judged according to our fleshly activities. We understand that no one receives approval without a judgment of some kind. However, it’s man’s judgment of our spiritual pursuits, or lack thereof, that brings the fire into our reactions.

 

Webster Defines The Word, “Judge” As:

Judge

1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? I Understand. Let’s Look At The Subject Of Judging In The Bible.

Is it true that Christians are told not to judge? The surprise answer is no. In fact, according to Scripture those who do not judge are more likely to be led astray by false doctrines and are less than effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.

 

Most People Who Cite The Lord’s “Command” Not To Judge, Use Following Quotation:

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 

To Whom Were These Words Spoken?

This whole passage is addressed to the religious hypocrites of the day. Jesus warned these self-righteous people who criticized others, but were guilty of the same things… or worse.

 

You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? As Much As Our Flesh Doesn’t Like It, Church Members Must Make Judgments.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

  • False prophets are to be recognized (judged) by their fruits.

Should Christians Judge Each Other? Absolutely!

The Lord is pleased with those that judge righteously.

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

Some Lukewarm Church Members Feel That A Preacher Should Not Be Their Judge.

I would point them the Lord’s instruction to the Priest Joshua.

Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

 

Remember John The Baptist saying:

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.

Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

  • John had guts enough to tell King Herod that he was wrong, that he was living with his brother’s wife. Herod had John thrown in prison and finally beheaded. John was not afraid to make a righteous judgment.

The Prophet Nathan Looked King David In The Eye And Judged Him.

2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

 

There Has Always Been Resentment In The Congregation Against Messages That Judge.

Isaiah 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:

  • Even in the days of Isaiah, men wanted to be left alone by the man of God. They only were willing to hear smooth preaching. Not much has changed. They wanted to do what ever their conscience allowed them to do.

Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

  • Without accountability, even the people of God sink to this level. The shocking news for our flesh is that what is right in our eyes may not be right in God’s eyes. We all need help. We just need it in different areas.

 

What About Discernment Of Spirits?

1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

  • This is a gift that God provided for His body, whereby Holy Ghost filled people may be able to determine what spirit another is manifesting. In a way, it’s like being able to see what’s on the inside of another person.

 

Try The Spirits. (Judge Them)

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

 

Samuel

The Prophet learned about judging spirits the hard way. He found out quickly that God looked not only on the outside, like humans, but He looked especially at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

(Note: They that are spiritually wayward love to justify their carnal and maybe even sinful outward appearance by saying that God looks on the heart. (As if that were the only place He looks.) This passage strongly makes the point that God did not even like what he saw on the inside. Maybe the self-righteous should not use this verse as their defense.)

 

If You Don’t Want Anyone Judging You, Be Glad You Weren’t There When The Apostle Paul Preached.

 

Paul Judged Situations Publically Without Being Present.

  • Case 1. Immorality

1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

(Called a…)

  • That person’s lifestyle resulted in the church judging them guilty and calling them by the name of their sin.

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

  • Case 2. Church Factions During The Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

  • Paul Openly Judged Sensitive Situations.

 

Judgment Is Required Of All Spiritual People.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

(The Message) 1 Corinthians 2:15 Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.

 

Spirit Filled Saints Are To Judge All Things.

Godly Spirit-filled saints are required to judge all things. Judge spirits? Yes! Judge things as well? Absolutely!

 

We Are To Judge All Things By God’s Standard Of Judgment. Things Such As:

  • Life Situations
  • Events
  • Relationships
  • Friendships
  • Music
  • Internet Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Hollywood Presentations
  • Sports
  • False Doctrines
  • Styles of Dress
  • Compromise
  • Immodesty

Just To Name A Few

 

(Note: EVERYONE that I have seen who re-evaluated their Holiness Standards or Convictions has not grown closer to God or resembled the Old-time Pentecostal lifestyle, but rather moved closer to looking and acting like the present world.)

 

The Apostles Judged A Situation Correctly And The Holy Ghost Confirmed It.

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

Paul Wasn’t Afraid To Have His Brethren Weigh His Words.

1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

 

You Dislike Being Judged? I Understand, But Even Prophets Are Subject To Being Judged.

Prophets Judge Other Prophets.

A Prophet’s reward is not money or fame. It is simply that his prophecy comes true. If the prophecy does not come true he is, by all standards of measurement, a false prophet.

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

The Pastor Must Make Judgment Calls.

Some situations a Pastor has to deal with are not mentioned specifically by name in the Bible. So, he must make a judgment call, or a ruling. Hence, they that make good rulings are worthy of double honor.

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

There’s No Doubt A Good Reason Why Some Make A Loud Noise About Not Wanting Anyone To Judge Them.

Scenario 1

Maybe They Are In Rebellion And Don’t Want To Change.

  • Because they are not doing right, and they do not want anyone reminding them.
  • They know what they have been taught.
  • They remember how they used to live.
  • They chose to ignore the Word of God and the Pastor.

Scenario 2

Maybe God Has Turned Them Over To A Delusion.

  • They feel they are right and will debate you tirelessly in their attempt to justify themselves.
  • They feel saved and content even though they have never been farther away from Truth.
  • They wouldn’t love Truth, so God handpicked their delusion and gave them something they would love. Error.

Scenario 3

A Humble Heart Will Repent When Judged And Correct The Error.

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

Preacher… Preach The Word. It Is God’s Plumb Line.

  • Preach Without Fear or Favor.
  • Be Not Afraid Of Their Faces.
  • You Must Answer To God For What You Preached And Didn’t Preach.
  • Preach It Even if It Affects Your Friends Or Family.
  • Preach it Because It Is Truth.

 

Correction Must Be Given When The Actions Of A Saint Are Judged To Be Wrong.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

If We Willingly Receive Correction and Instruction, We Show Evidence Of Being God’s Son.

Hebrews 12:5 … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

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?

 

If You’re Still Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You…

  • How Then Can Anyone Help You?
  • You Don’t Want A Pastor.
  • You Don’t Even Want A True Friend.
  • You Choose To Do What You Want.
  • No One Can Be Helped Without First Being Judged To Be In Need Of Help.
  • Please Don’t Put Up A Wall Of Defense Any More When Your Life Is Judged To Be Not Pleasing Unto God.

 

Who Are You To Judge Me?

  • A Tender Hearted Person Would Never Speak Those Words.
  • Have You Become Unteachable?
  • Are You Past Help?
  • Have You Become Hard Hearted?
  • Do You Want A Tender Heart?
  • Do You Want To Be Saved?
  • Then Start By Humbling Yourself And Submitting To God’s Word.

The Anatomy Of A Spiritual Shutdown

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The Anatomy Of A Spiritual Shutdown

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Please Notice This Persons Progression Toward A Spiritual Shutdown.

  1. Walking
  2. Standing
  3. Sitting

 

1. Walking

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

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

2. Standing Still

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Sitting (With A Bad Attitude)

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

What Are The Chances Of Recovery From A Shutdown?

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

 

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

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

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

God Promises Some Amazing Things Here:

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

 

1. If we will HUMBLE ourselves,

2. PRAY

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

4. TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS

THEN…

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

6. He will FORGIVE OUR SINS

7. HEAL OUR LAND – (Bless our finances)

If You Have Experienced Spiritual Shutdown…

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

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Shouldn’t Porn Viewers Be Called Adulterers Too?

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Shouldn’t Porn Viewers Be Called Adulterers Too?

God chose to create a helpmate that would be most desirable in the eyes of Adam. He succeeded and did a perfect job in the creation of Eve.

The plan was for man and woman to live together in a bond that was secure from sensual influences outside of the sanctity of their marriage. They each were given power over the others emotions and senses.

1Cor 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

When we step out of the safety of our house to go to work, for example, we no doubt will soon see someone of the opposite gender. For most men, it is a non-event that is completely ignored. No untoward stimuli is involved in their public observations.

For others, the looking is what triggers a chain of events that makes them vulnerable for a horrible downfall. They ogle and allow their mind and their thoughts to join in creating an ungodly fantasy.

When Jesus told His hearers, that when a man looked longingly upon a woman other than his wife, he was guilty of adultery in his heart.

Matt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Unlike our generation, no one listening to the sermon Jesus preached that day ever heard of the word porn or pornography. They computerclipartunderstood clearly though that improperly looking upon a woman was not pleasing to God.

Hotel staff members tell me their highest room porn rentals of the year (on the room’s TV) is during men’s conferences and youth conferences. God help!

Today, with all the promotion of books, magazines and the Internet, experiencing adultery in the heart, is at an all time high… even in the privacy of your own home, since you can find online sites as www.snapchatnudes.net that have adult pictures online.

If what Jesus said is applied to the current porn industry, then it is possible to never see the ‘actress’ live and in real life, and yet watch her online and be guilty of adultery in your heart.

Why is it that those who are known to view pornography are not called adulterers? Isn’t that what they are?

If porn viewers are guilty of adultery, then they need to repent for that. Sir, please carefully guard yourself, your home, your relationship with your wife, and your eternal future. It quickly becomes an addiction that may possibly lead to, or accompany your moral failure.

Repentance (confessing) is the first step. Is the spirit of adultery in your heart? It doesn’t have to stay there. Forsaking is the next step you must take. Then, thirdly, I recommend a good old-fashioned praying through! Accountability will help keep you and your wife safe.

  • The Repentance,
  • Forsaking and a
  • Renewing of the Holy Ghost is imperative!
  • Make yourself accountable.

The Psalmist prayed, ‘Create in me a clean heart.’ That should be the prayer of every man who desires to make heaven his home, and his home a heaven.

Now, get up from your computer and go spend some time showing attention to that beautiful bride you pledged your ‘I Do’ to!!

You Won’t Be Sorry!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 8, 2013 at 12:00 am