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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

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What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

My father rode beside me in the car as we talked about the alarming decline of standards and morality among some of the churches we knew. Dad shook his head after a while and rhetorically said, “Where’s Bro. Verbal Bean when we need him? Where’s Bro. Joe Duke? I wonder why God took their ministries from us when we needed them the most?”

Since neither of us could answer that question, the car stayed quiet for a while as I drove down the highway. Since then, many more strong voices of men and women have been laid silent in their graves. Today, nearly forty years later, I revisited that moment in the car with my daddy.

We look around us now for another star to shine bright! We look for another champion of the faith. We look for someone with an amazing ministry. A preacher we would drive a hundred miles just to listen to one sermon. Someone who will lift their voice.

 

Really?

  • What’s Wrong With Your Voice?
  • What Keeps You From Speaking Up?
  • Why Don’t You Say Something?
  • Why Don’t You Respond To The Need?
  • Can’t You See What Sin Is Around You?
  • And, You Still Can’t Open Your Mouth?

 

Maybe you say to yourself that you don’t have a ministry like Bro. Bean, or a Bro. Duke. So you feel content to be quiet.

Have you never read about a man named Amos in the Bible?

Amos 7:14  Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:

Amos 7:15  And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

Amos declares that He wasn’t preacher nor a preacher’s son. He was just a herdsman and had a little fruit stand. Yet God chose to speak through him to a whole nation.

 

God looks for availability.

Eze. 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

Isa. 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

 

God is still looking for a voice!

  • Are You Available?
  • How Would You Respond If God Chose To Use You?

 

Again, I ask…

What’s Wrong With Your Voice?

Someone Needs To Say Something!!!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 5, 2019 at 4:27 pm

“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

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“How Old Are You, Brother Ballestero?”

I guess I could answer their questions in the normal way, but that would be too easy. It’s more enjoyable to watch their faces when I answer in terms of events rather than the expected number of years.

 

I have been known to respond something like this…

 

“I’m So Old That:

“I can remember when hymns and choruses actually rhymed.

“I actually heard the saints stand up and testify in a regular testimony service.

“I’ve even heard prayer rooms roar with the sounds of victorious saints bombarding Heaven while putting the devil on the run.

 

“I actually saw Sunday School Attendance Boards displaying things like:

  • Attendance Today
  • Offering Amount
  • Number of Visitors
  • Number of Bibles Brought

 

“Church Songs Were…

  • About deliverance from sin.
  • About heaven being a holy place.
  • About the Lord’s return to earth
  • About having your sins washed away.

 

“I actually heard preachers name sin from the pulpit.

“Wayward saints got rebuked openly from the pulpit, that others might fear.

“Hearing the phrase: ‘Holiness or Hell,’ was common.

 

“Holiness and modesty were expected among all Holy Ghost filled saints.

“If the pastor said it, young people obeyed without questioning his reasons or his authority.

“No saint ever chewed gum in church. It was too disrespectful.

 

“Expectant mothers wore loose attire that only revealed a minimum of information.

“Sword Drills were common in youth services.

“A Sunday morning service included a Bible class, a second worship service, and preaching.

 

“Sunday night church was always expected.

“Mid-week schedule of services included a Tuesday and Thursday or a Wednesday and Friday.

“Revivals were held every night but Monday.

 

“Preachers wore white shirts to church and they always wore a tie.

“Rings on a preacher were noticed by everyone.

“When the preacher announced his text, the sound of Bible pages turning would be discerned by everyone.

 

“The spirit of Conviction was the norm in most every service.

“Messages in tongues were not uncommon.

“The sounds of Intercessory Prayer were heard in most churches.

 

“The preaching wasn’t politically correct.

“No one claimed to be living for God with a TV in their house.

“When saints never went to ball games or movies.

 

“When Apostolic saints shunned all of Hollywood.

“When church services often went past 10 pm.

“When New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service most often included a confession service as well.

 

“When we bragged about carrying folks home drunk on the Holy Ghost.

“When folks who disregarded standards were called backsliders.

“When young men didn’t justify wearing shorts just because they came to the knee.

 

“When saintly women abhorred the wearing of any type of makeup because they didn’t want to look like a Jezebel and ruin their testimony.

“When the lights weren’t turned down low at the altar call, and everyone could see who needed to pray.

“When doctrine and standards were openly preached and wonderfully received.

 

“When preachers didn’t teach doctrine and standards in private classes so as not to scare any visitors.

“When Break-Out Sessions were unheard of.

“When those whose prophecies didn’t come to pass were called false prophets.

 

But now…

We’ve moved ‘up’ to the next level of Pentecost!!

 

“You didn’t actually answer my question, Brother Ballestero! You still haven’t told me how old you are. How old are you?”

 

Again, My Response…

“Old enough to want to hear doctrine preached and not some feel-good pop psychology type sermon.

 

“I’m so old that I search for churches that still have that old-time Apostolic feeling.

“I look for churches that still want to hear preaching like it used to be.

“Where testimonies have that New Jerusalem ring to them.

 

“I look for churches that haven’t thrown all the old songs away.

“I want to find places where holiness is still in style.

“Where ALL of the Bible is preached without apology.”

 

“That’s how old I am!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 29, 2019 at 10:30 pm

The Princess Within Conference, By Nila Marxer

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Two of my sisters, Nila Marxer and Carlene Branham just returned from the “Princess Within Conference” in Corona, Californina. This blog is part of Nila’s letter to me today about her experience with the inmates at the conference.

Nila Marxer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This prison field is filled with so many hungry women. There were 30 women who received the Holy Ghost for the first time, 18 renewed, and 12 signed up for baptism! We’ve been trying to get into this prison for almost 20 years, and finally we’ve had a breakthrough. Actually, women from this prison and the Chowchilla prison have been fasting on the 25th of every month for years for a Holy Ghost church service to come to the prisons.

I was humbled by their hunger and desire to hear the Word and to be loved.

The first picture was the entire group minus 2 people. The second was the Sunday morning picture of those who went. A lot had to go back home.

 

Fear will keep many people from doing the will of God and fulfilling His purpose for their life. Don’t say you want to be used of God, and not be willing to do what is needed to further the kingdom.

My life will never be the same. I went to the Princess Within Conference in Corona this weekend with anticipation of helping others, when in fact this experience helped me more than words can express.

Prayer and fasting had gone up for this conference, and when we completed the process of entering into the prison, setting up the equipment and chairs and setting out water bottles and sweets for each prisoner, you could already feel a powerful move of the Holy Ghost. Whitney Rhinehart began practicing songs, and others joined in. Everyone was involved. We did not come just to be a warm body, but we were needed. Those of us who had finished setting up were prayerfully awaiting the prisoners. When the door opened, and the women began filing in, worship had already filled the room. Some of the prisoners were worshiping and clapping as they began to find a seat. At first it took a while for the majority of the women to show up, because it was taco night, and they all wanted to eat the only good meal of the week. (The enemy was using everything to try to hinder this conference.)

The volunteers lined up to give gifts, shake everyone’s hand, welcome them, and thank them for coming. Some were shy, but you could see the majority of the prisoners craved love. Each song was effective, each sermon was powerfully anointed, and no one left unmoved. They came in worshiping like I haven’t seen in a regular church setting. Not just a few raised their hands, but every hand was raised, everyone clapped, everyone worshiped.

The first thing I noticed about the women, was that they looked like normal women, not like hardened criminals that I imagined. The majority of these women carried Bibles. Some of these Bibles were well-read and falling apart. In many of them, I could see various pages of notes stuck in-between the pages. I thought how many of us church people will go to church without our Bibles? How many church people take time to read God’s Word? Some of these women took notes on every scripture reference, and would look at their friends when a specific verse was mentioned, and would finish the scripture, reciting along with the various ministers. These women were well-acquainted with the Word, yet they were starving. Starving for the preached Word, starving for worship, starving for love, starving to feel the power of the Holy Ghost. My heart was lost to them within the first five minutes of meeting them.

On the first night, the preacher finished preaching, and opened the front for those who wanted the Holy Ghost. The women poured down to the altar. We volunteers stood in the front facing them, and soon were inundated by scores of women who wanted prayer. As soon as one received the Holy Ghost, there were many women all around them with their arms raised asking for prayer. I couldn’t stop crying as one by one these women were receiving the Holy Ghost. They fell on my neck, thanking me for coming, and showing them love. I wept with them, knowing they were my sisters-in-the-Lord. Not only did they need me, I needed them.
Before I walked into the prison yard, I had felt some apprehension, not knowing how this was going to unfold, but I can’t begin to explain the joy I had in being involved in this prison ministry, and the hunger I have to go back and continue to spread this precious Truth!

I was humbled by some of the testimonies I heard. Chaffey College was having a graduation ceremony at the same time we were having the Saturday morning service. One of the girls told me she was graduating with her bachelor’s degree. She said, “I had to make a decision whether I was going to walk and get my diploma, or come to church.” She was crying as she spoke, saying, “It was an easy decision to make. They can always mail me my diploma, but there won’t always be a Holy Ghost church service.”

Another girl said that she got her diploma, (missing the early morning session.) She hadn’t seen her family for seven years. Her family had come a long way to see her graduate and spend a little time with her. Knowing how little time these prisoners get to see their loved ones, the few moments together are cherished. Yet, this young lady walked down the aisle, got her degree, and then told her folks goodbye, because she had to go to church.

These testimonies gripped my heart, because those women cherish church above everything. So many women thanked me for loving them. (They were so easy to love.)

The first night I came home, I couldn’t sleep, seeing their faces lifted in prayer, feeling their hugs, and them gripping my hands tearfully asking me not to forget to pray for them. How can I forget?

It was during a worship song on Saturday when I felt God speak to me that I need to focus on His work. I had been focusing on my son who has been bound by sin and desperately needs deliverance. If I will focus on His kingdom and the souls that He loves, then He will focus on my prayers for my family and those that I love. It’s a win-win situation.

The last prisoner spoke to me as they were leaving and said that many churches have come to the prison, but never in her life has she felt such power and such love. She said, the love affected her more than anything. She felt loved by God, and by His people. She wondered why she had never felt love like this before.

I told her, “Honey, it’s the Holy Ghost love that you feel.”
My mind went back to the scripture, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 KJV) Oh, how He loves us, and them!

She said, “It has to be, because I’ve never seen anything like this in all my life. Please don’t forget us. Please come back and help us learn more!”

I thought of the scripture that says:
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.”
Matthew 25:41-43 KJV

May that never be said about me. Lord, I will go.

Nila Marxer

What Kind Of Son Are You?

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What Kind Of Son Are You?

There was a certain Father who had many sons and daughters. The children by now all lived on their own and seemed happy. He had treated them all so kindly that they doted on Him and often just stopped by His house to tell Him that they loved Him.

More often than not they would ask Him if there was anything they could do for Him. That always made Him smile. Sometimes they would say, “Father, if You see me doing something that displeases You… please let me know. You have been so good to me, that I want to spend the rest of my life doing things that please You. It made the Father’s heart rejoice to know His children loved Him.

One day two of the oldest brothers noticed that the youngest brother only came around the Father’s house on Sunday mornings about 10 AM and occasionally on Wednesday evenings around 7 PM when the special family meals were prepared.  He wasn’t always punctual, and they noticed that when he did come around it was only for food. Most of the other children came early before meal time to talk with their father and enjoy the comfort of His presence and love, and stayed late. The youngest son never came early, and seldom on time.

Once in a while, he would come to his Father’s house because he needed money or some help with a desperate situation. He would always show his thanks and appreciation for the blessing.

The two brothers watched one night as the youngest came late to the table where the others were already eating and with a sheepish look slid into his chair. They gave each other a knowing look.

The oldest said to the youngest, “How come you only come around the Father’s house when there are loaves and fishes on the table? How come you never want to just come and visit a while with our Father and enjoy His company? Man, you’re really missing out! There’s no one in the world more wonderful than Him! Everyone notices that you have plenty of time to go visit all your friends or do your fishing and hunting. Don’t you know that when the rest of us come to visit with Him that we see Him looking down the road towards your house? He watches you walking in the other direction from Him to be with your friends, or go do your thing. And, then when a need arises you have the gall to act as though you love Him so that you can ask Him for a favor, hit up for money and mooch off of Him. He’s always giving to you and you give nothing back to Him. What’s wrong with you? What kind of son are you?

The supper table grew quiet. A tear ran down the Father’s cheek. The younger son glared at his older brother and left the table. The children put their heads down fearing to see the expression on their Father’s face. They knew how much their Father loved the one who wouldn’t return His love.

 

 

Is this your story?

 

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm

What Type Of Spiritual Leader Are You?

with 2 comments

 

Guest Blog By Ramona Yandris

Ramona Yandris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Sister, Ramona Yandris is married to Bishop Nathan Yandris. They have served for many years at Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church, Tracy, CA. She has served a lifetime as a gifted Speaker, Musician, Singer, and Music Director. May her words be a blessing to you!

 

 

What Type Of Spiritual Leader Are You?

This is in no way meant to reference any one person… this is just the musings and thoughts while studying God’s Word.

Great Spiritual Leadership has always caused a great and notable outcome!  It is getting harder to find Spiritual leaders that rise up in this day and age and lead with no guile. (Hear me out before you judge) But when they do… The Miraculous happens!  In this day, when pulpit ministry looks so glamorous….when crowds follow speakers to every conference to “hear” a sermon… then we raise up a “glorified speaker!”

If that same speaker… builds a church… rolls up his sleeves… also puts his shoulder to the wheel, outreaches his own community, tends to his own flock tirelessly, prays for the sick, gives to the poor, lifts a hand to the down and out, builds faith and instills Gods Word in his congregation and actually “Leads” then he raises up ministers and workers in the “Harvest” under him who also will replicate his work!

 

We learn so much from each leader…

  • Some are called to evangelize…
  • Some are called to be Apostles…
  • Some are called to Pastor…
  • Some are called as Prophets…
  • Some are called to teach…

Then there are secondary leaders, those who are called to “help.” Someone who feels supporting the ministry they were called into as essential in upholding the arms of God’s man!  They defend Him. They take the load off of him. They love him for what he is and are loyal to the cause, seeking nothing in return!  This is a rare gem in ministry to find such a secondary leader as most only want advancement and the ultimate spotlight. Although most are called to advance further, it is refreshing and a blessing to see someone understand and walk in this secondary leadership role hand in hand with God’s appointed leader.

Sadly, in this day we rely on a vote for a man (most times it is necessary) and have gotten away from a man who was so in tune with the Holy Ghost that he could say with power and knowledge,  “God has called me to ???,” and then wade through many adversities until a monument for Christ is built to Glorify God and win the lost! My proverbial hat is off to church builders who work it from the ground up. They literally give everything to the Kingdom of God.  The next man stepping in reaps the rewards with no labor… seems not fair… right?

I began to think what story certain leaders in the Bible left us with that revealed traits like character, strength, honor, dishonor, compassion, True Agape love, dishonest, Loyal/disloyal, offended, cruel, harsh, gentle, Anointed, prayerful, righteous, lovers of God more than lovers of self, and steadfast. I ask myself, “How do so many with these obvious human flaws get used by God?”  See, we humans think “YOU” (we don’t include ourselves in that exclusion)  have to be perfect before we can be “used.” There are so many places God can use us all!  We just have to first know and always remind ourselves that “Kingdom First” should be our motto.

If someone sings better than you, don’t attack them and use jealous tactics to get the part you crave.  Be a team member in ministry!

Be the first to give up your seat at the piano/organ/bass/guitar/drums/bongos/tambourine/etc.  if someone else can more skillfully bring others to worship. Yes, there is a place for us all but none of us own our positions. We should all ultimately be on the “Kingdom Team” and want God Glorified!

 

He literally can use ANYBODY!  It just takes a WILLING and Anointed VESSEL!

So, in each church leadership, you might recognize some of the following traits in these biblical examples. See where you fit in or where you recognize the reference.

Let us also not be so quick to point our finger at the reference of others. There are always at least a few fingers pointing back at us. That is humbling!

Here goes…

 

The Elijah Leader!!!!

1 Kings 18:22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

Some are like Elijah. They operate in hopelessness. They think they are doing it all alone. They whine and gripe that they do it alone. They simply do not know how to delegate and use others. Sometimes God has to remind them that He has many more doing the same thing!  We are not in this alone! We need and use each other to advance not our Kingdom but rather God’s Kingdom!

 

The Jezebel (wannabe) Leader

Jezebel. This spirit wants to control everything and everyone!  It can be male or female.

Every spirit of control in the church that does not line up with the pulpit, the man of God and God’s Word is OUT OF ORDER!  You are an accident waiting to happen!  You cannot muzzle the Ox (referring to the pastor), nor can you insert your control over the man of God and the departments of the church!  God will see to it that you and your household will come to ruin.  You simply have the wrong spirit and outlook on God’s man and His Work!  If you don’t love the man of God (your pastor), then how can you say you love God? Don’t worry though pastor… God’s got this. You just keep right on working for the Kingdom.  The Jezebels will fall by the wayside and the church will roll right on!

 

The Jonah Leader!

Jonah leaders run from responsibilities. Oh, how easy this temptation is for humanity.  Like the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”  In this day of ease, most don’t stick it out.  They crash and burn at the first sight of trouble! Their blinders have been removed and they get overwhelmed at the very thought of the “work set before them!” They forgot that God promised that His Grace was sufficient for EVERY need!  He gives us sometimes (as the song used to say).

“Just enough to take me through one more mile.

Just enough to dry my eyes a little while

When I get home…

I won’t need it.

But as I travel, this weary land

He always gives me

Just enough Grace to stand!”

If God calls you into a difficult ministry or position!  Stay the course.  Don’t quit or defect EVERY-TIME  you think someone is talking about you, or you have adversity.

If God calls you TO it,

He will bring you THROUGH it!

Stay the course and quit being a QUITTER!

 

The Moses Leader!!!!

Moses let anger lead.  So many events happen in our lives as ministry that brings us to anger. Yet, the scripture says “Let he who rules WELL be worthy of DOUBLE Honor!”  The decisions a pastor makes has to be from a clear head.  We may have our own personal opinions about someone but remember the person you are angry at is STILL a child of God and your outburst of anger can not only cause defeat in your flock but can also keep you from where God actually intended for you to attain to in your own promised land!  If people disappoint us and walk away, let them go.  Let them go!  Let them go!  Not everybody fits our unique circle or within the personality of a church.  Don’t assault them with unkind and angry words.  We bless them and pray God’s best for their life.  It doesn’t mean you have to have contact. In fact, it’s best to not. What’s the point? It keeps your anger and bitterness at Bay. So, allow people to go and flourish elsewhere.  God always sends a replacement usually sooner than later who will be faithful.

 

The Saul Leader!

Saul tried to destroy other anointed leaders. This is one of the most commonly used tactics among ministry today.  If someone is offended at you for ANY reason, the petty flesh tries to tear down a person’s reputation. If they can destroy you among the brethren then you just might quit coming around.  If you will quit coming around then they can remain “King of the Roost!”  This type of man (or woman) is definitely not Kingdom minded and seeks only to elevate themselves! They also promote their flock to honor only them and have “preacher worship” mentality. A premiere flock (and a tribute to the former pastor) is one who stays and is loyal to the Kingdom in spite of XYZ!  Love and honor your pastor (this is Biblical), but don’t have preacher worship!  Have God worship!  He shares His Glory with NO ONE!

 

The Judas Leader!!!

Judas… untrustworthy! Reveals secrets to wound another to gain power. Will sell you out for advancement or validation! This takes the life out of so many of us. It is a trick of the enemy to cause offense! Yet in the end, the person you are really hurting is yourself!  God will fight the Battle of those wronged!  He keeps excellent records and you will be judged by your words and your deeds!  Keep your tongue in check!  If you are a friend to the ministry, be confidential!  You are there to support not tear down! If you are a minister and friends with another minister and you have information that tears down the other person… don’t go sell those secrets to the highest bidder. Shut your mouth and pray for your friend!  Go to them and in the spirit of love and unity reason with them regarding the error of their ways. Only then have you done what the Scriptures say to do!

Just for the record, the scripture says to “Mark them that cause division among you AND avoid them”. Nowhere does it say if a brother/sister is in error or taken in a fault to mark them and avoid them!  Yet, sadly that is what we do and we wonder why the person finally goes to another group… well it just may not be because they WANT an easier way… it just might mean they were treated so unjustly and unscriptural that in their mind, they had no way out.  Let’s love people back into our fold… My goodness!  Aren’t we tired of the “exit?”  It’s not all standard reasons folks…a lot of it is simply offense gone wrong!

 

The Enoch Leader!

Enoch… had a prayer life unrivaled!

The ministry friends that I have had in this day and age that greatly affected my life are the ministers that had an obvious powerful prayer life.  One in particular who was my pastor for a short season was Bro. Verbal Bean… Do you want a demonstration of the Holy Ghost like he had?  Get a prayer life like he had!  I can name so many men and women of God that has become an icon, not because of their gifting but rather because of their anointing resulting from their prayer life!  If you want to be caught up in the Heavens like Enoch, then DAILY walk with God!  Don’t leave it to “after service” prayer, but find your own space, your own room, no matter how “Big” you become. Keep that prayer life consistent. You don’t need to “tell” anyone “while I was in prayer today.” Your actions and unction will tell on you!

 

The Esau Leader!

Esau will sell out cheaply for an easier way. You don’t prepare for the task ahead?  You don’t value what you have been given?  You take it for granted? Your decisions are based on fleshly desires?  Then yes, we have another Esau in our hands.  One who will abandon what God meant for him because he wanted to quickly satisfy his flesh!  These people will sell out to the first person that will advance them… make their life easier and not make them accountable.  This simply speaks for itself!  No more words needed here!

 

The John the Revelator Leader!

John The Revelator works even though abandoned and wounded. Tortured for Christ sake and sent to die alone. This man of God decided I will leave a mark in this world for the sake of the Kingdom. God trusted him that He gave him visions and placed him in a solitary place where his mind and writings were solely devoted to what God gave him. “They” meant it for evil, but God meant it for GOOD!

The struggles and the trials you go through as ministry may not be to destroy you but rather to save the lost coming up behind you. God has a purpose and a plan.  If you truly mean for Him to use you, don’t get upset when things go bad.  When you can’t see the way, when you can’t figure out the why,  just trust Him! We may not understand it until we reach the other side.  When you are sold out, you are there to the bitter end.

We better toughen up!  As the “Day” approaches we are all going to be that much more offended, hurt, rejected, wounded, talked about, mistreated, persecuted. Instead of giving up… Take up YOUR CROSS, take up a pen… write encouraging words to yourself and to others!  Be strong and faint not!

 

The Peter Leader!

Peter let fear rule his actions

Yes, he was so afraid of Jesus going to the cross that he cut a man’s ear off… (yet he was bold enough to do that). He was so afraid of being found out that he was a disciple that he cursed and lied to prove he was “not of His!” He was so afraid that he never showed up at the cross!

When you are so sensitive that when things do not go your way or turn out like you would like them to, when the dream you had is shattered and fear grips you… affecting your words… your actions… your loyalty… (all of this was nothing more than a lack of faith) yet through all this foolishness… Jesus had great faith in Peter!  So many times, Jesus had to emphasise a point to Peter. ”Peter, do you love me?”  I often wondered why this line of questioning until you look at the overall high/low passion of Peter.  Jesus knew he operated out of passion.  Anger/Fear falls under that category.  Yet, emotional people can sometimes be the worst friends and worst leaders!  They always feel someone is talking about them. They are fatalistic in their words and kill hope and faith every time you converse with them. They are Spiritually Bi-polar!  You are exhausted when you leave their presence.  But Jesus knew one thing… if He could “channel” the passion Peter had in the right way, then there would be no stopping him.

  • Knowing that Peter denied Him.
  • Knowing that Peter disassociated himself from Him.
  • Knowing that Peter was angry.
  • Knowing that Peter was offended.
  • Knowing that the Disciples were offended at Peter.

Yet, when Jesus arose from the tomb he left a “young man, clothed in white” with a special message to the Disciples AND to PETER!  See at this point Peter had angered and offended himself (in his own mind) right out of the ministry. Yet Jesus, knowing Peters temperament left an angel to speak to him….to make this reference so the Disciples would accept him back….made special mention to the emotional future powerhouse in Mark16:7….”Go tell the disciples AND PETER that He (Jesus) goeth before you into Galilee”

That was a potential fatal flaw in Peter.  Anger and Fear can destroy a ministry… a marriage… a job… if you are in any ministry you MUST keep your emotions in check!  Peter was so overwhelmed at Jesus’s tolerance and forgiveness that he was humbled and became a Holy Ghost powerhouse for the Kingdom.

 

The John the Beloved Leader!

John stayed at the cross even though he could have been arrested.  Real leaders walk with you through the fire if you will allow them to! Before Jesus bowed His head and died He looked at His mother and said of John “Woman Behold your son!”  Take a look at someone who is sold out and will stay with you even though the odds are stacked against you!

He was one of the first to reach the tomb after Jesus arose.

John 19:26-27

John 20:1-10

Follows Jesus even though the other disciples questioned his involvement…

John 21:20-23

He was one of the 7 fishermen that fished all night when it looked hopeless… yet his persistence paid off when Jesus showed up!

John 21:1-25

Even though the other disciples cut him out of written involvement… he still kept ministering!

No wonder he was the “Beloved” of Jesus!  He exemplified more fruit of the Spirit than all of them put together!  He was completely “Christlike!

Maybe jealously caused him to be shut out!

So, whatever Style of Leadership you are given to,  make sure it lines up with advancing the Kingdom of God!  Don’t allow the flesh to rule spiritual things!

Please above all rule in love.  Don’t Lord over God’s heritage, nor be a Pharisee!  Be humble in spirit and in deed and let God be Glorified in all that we do!  If you have no ability to bind people together in love and in unity, you may merely have a desire, not a calling.

 

This is the Will of God!

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 9, 2019 at 1:14 pm

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

with 3 comments

 

 

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

“Thanks, Dad! I got it for myself!”

with 4 comments

 

The Apostolic Tabernacle, located 905 S. Pike Street in Shelbyville, Indiana, was celebrating its anniversary. Bro. Carl Ballestero had just finished teaching the afternoon Bible Study. The service ended in prayer, and then the crowd was dismissed. Bro. Cavaness promised to feed his guests a BBQ feast and the crowd showed their excitement to go eat. Well, all except one teenager.

The dark-haired young man looked for a side room or a place to hide until the church emptied. He hoped that no one would miss him or come looking for him. He didn’t want to be seen by anyone right now. He couldn’t find a classroom.

Without anyone noticing, he slipped through a door that led him to the baptismal tank area. There, he bent over so as to remain unseen and moved to the side of the tank and laid down on the bare floor, flat on his back. He closed his eyes and waited. It seemed like forever before the sounds of conversations to died out and then he heard the front door close. He listened for any sounds of footsteps, but all was quiet. That’s when it started.

The boy began to cry, when I say cry, I don’t mean that there was a tear or two. I mean he began to sob. He wanted the same experience with God that his parents had. He felt shallow, empty, and unfulfilled. He wanted more of God. The sobs turned into groans and heartfelt travail. Time wasn’t important, food wasn’t important, getting something from God at that moment was all that mattered now.

Most of the afternoon the young prayed. His eyes were almost swollen shut. Some hours later, as folks gathered in for the evening service, he slipped out of the baptistery and into the Men’s room to comb his hair and wash his face. No one seemed to notice his earlier absence. His parents never mentioned it.

The young man became a pastor and many years later he invited Bro. Roger Evens to preach for him. One day, Bro. Evens said, “Do you remember the day at Shelbyville that you prayed behind the baptistery and didn’t go eat with everyone else?

The young pastor’s mouth dropped open. “How do you know about that?” he asked.

“I was there,” Bro. Evens said. “I came back into the church with your dad looking for you and making sure you had a way to go eat. That’s when we heard you crying out to God. I told you dad to go pray with you because I couldn’t go eat knowing you were crying like that.”

“Your dad said, ‘No, I can’t go pray for him.”

“Why not?” I said.

“Like a baby chick getting out of its shell, it has to do that by its self! If he doesn’t get this for himself he will never amount to a hill of beans.”

“With tears in your dad’s eyes and in mine, we walked out of the church that day.”

 

 

Fifty-five years later, all I can say now is, “Thanks, Dad! I got it for myself!”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 19, 2018 at 1:55 pm