The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

Inside Mercy’s House

with one comment

 

It’s Here!

Download Your Free E-Book Now

(Just click on the picture)

Mercy's House2

A Short Story for Young People

By

Martyn Ballestero Sr.

Edited By

Nila Marxer

© 2014 Martyn Ballestero Sr.

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission. Contact martyn238@aol.com

 

Dedication

I dedicate this story to my precious Grandchildren.
They all make me proud!

Kalyx Ballestero, Carlton Ballestero, Braden Ballestero,
Huntley Ballestero, Christyana Ballestero, Christian Ballestero, Caison Ballestero, Gentson Ballestero
Jeron Ballestero, Chloe Ballestero, Zion Ballestero
Garrison Hartzell, Cadence Hartzell, & Ainsley Hartzell

 

The First Paragraph:

“Shame stood there quietly in woods while the afternoon sun lazily highlighted his disheveled hair. His head hung down from sheer exhaustion. He didn’t feel like he could run another step. The birds had stopped singing momentarily to watch this unwelcome intruder as he looked for a place to sit down out of view of the path.”

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

This free e-book is available in three formats. Click on the picture or the link to access and download the book from Dropbox. No registration or account is needed. Here’s the Dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h70uly3f9x5u75s/AAAg1mMKav0CCgAa6stWVyV7a?dl=0

 

There are three file types available.

If you read books on a Kindle, select the Mobi file or PDF
If you read books on an iPad or iPhone, choose the Epub file (or PDF if you have the pdf app.)
If you read books on a Andoid choose the Mobi file and use with the  Kindle app.
If you read books on your Computer, and have Adobe Reader try the PDF

 

If you are having trouble, maybe these “how-to” links will help:

http://osxdaily.com/2012/03/25/transfer-mobi-epub-ebook-files-to-ipad/

http://askleo.com/how_do_i_download_and_read_a_pdf_ebook/

http://www.ehow.com/how_8230718_open-ebook-email-iphone.html

 

(If you need help or the link does not work, let me know. Blessings to all. – MJB)

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 24, 2014 at 2:34 am

Finding God In Your Failures

with 3 comments

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

The Greatest Trial Of Your Life

with 2 comments

The Greatest Trial Of Your Life

Tears are no a stranger to any of us. We came into this world crying at the top of our lungs. For some, not much has changed, except where they now choose to cry.

Many events in life can bring us almost unbearable pain. We cry out to God for help and solution to our problems. We beg Him for relief and consolation. Our emotions crave His comfort and resolution of our problems.

Every one of us seeks to be happy. Even the founders of our great country wrote about the pursuit of happiness.

 

Mr. Webster Said ‘Trial’ Was The Opposite Of ‘Joy’

Dictionary

joy – noun

A feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy | the joy of being alive.

Thesaurus

Joy – noun

Whoops of joy: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture; enjoyment.

ANTONYMS – trial.

 

The Apostle Declared The Source Of His Greatest Joy

 

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

 

If This Is True For Us, Then The Opposite Is True As Well.

 

We Have No Greater Trial Than To Know Our Children Do Not Walk In Truth!

Praying today to every mother, father and grandparent whose very heart is crushed with the knowledge that the ones they love so dearly have walked away from God. All we can do is pray and have faith.

(If you close the door to your home to them, you might have just closed the door to the church at the same time.)

May God Hear Your Prayers For The Restoration Of Your Lost Loved Ones!

Praying-for-miracles

Written by Martyn Ballestero

June 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm

The Good News About Rubbish

with 6 comments

The Good News About Rubbish

____________________________________________________________

Definition

Rub·bish – ˈrəbiSH/

Vocabulary.com

Noun: rubbish – waste material; refuse or litter. Material that is considered unimportant or valueless.

Adjective: rubbish – very bad; worthless or useless.

_____________________________________________________________

Everyone knows what rubbish is and what it looks like. I am sure that a definition accompanied by a photo is unnecessary.

Who in the world would ever give rubbish a second look? Why would someone waste his or her time trying to find good in what has been demolished?

Besides, rubbish always has an unpleasant odor about it that makes those close feel unclean.

  • Men call it rubbish when they have gotten all the valve the can extract from an object.
  • They call it rubbish when it has been damaged beyond their comfort zone.
  • They call it rubbish when it looks hopeless and spent.

Let Me Tell You An Unknown Bible Story About Rubbish.

Israel had been held in captivity for 70 years. When they returned to their beloved city of Jerusalem, their hearts were crushed with despair. The walls had been broken down and most of the city burned. They had to rebuild the walls immediately. Nehemiah’s burden led the workers. The enemies and critics of Israel watched and spouted their negative opinions.

Neh. 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

The enemy had taken every thing of value. All that was left for Israel to rebuild the glorious walls of Jerusalem were heaps of burnt stones. They dug in the rubbish looking for damaged goods that they could restore.

Even the enemy recognized their dilemma and the futility of the idea. Yet that is exactly what happened in Jerusalem.

Workmen picked up the burnt and tarnished stones out of the rubbish heap, one by one. They no doubt did their best to wipe the stains of the fire and dirt away. Maybe they even washed them, I don’t know. One by one they cleansed each stone and applied new mortar and placed them into the wall.

The Wall Of Jerusalem Was Repaired Using Damaged Goods.

Neh. 4:7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,

Neh. 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

Neh. 12:43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

 

A God Moment!

When they finished rebuilding the walls, a God ‘thing’ happened. God made them to get so happy that the noise of their joy was heard a long ways away.

The walls of Jerusalem that still stand today, were rebuilt with damaged goods. Burnt stones from the rubbish heaps now fit perfectly in place in the wall.

IM000348.JPG1175

i-walls-06

 

 

When you look at the walls today and take pictures of its grandeur, do you ever stop and think, “That was built with damaged goods”? I didn’t think so.

What then do you think the Body of Christ is made up of? If you’re honest, you will have to say that God knows how to use, where to put, and how to preserve damaged goods.

Does God Ever Use Rubbish? You Better Believe It! Every Day!

Don’t Be Too Quick To Give Up On People.

The Good News About Rubbish Is That God Can Still Use It For His Glory.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Posted in Christian Living, Recovery

Tagged with ,

Are You Worth Fighting For?

with 7 comments

Are You Worth Fighting For?

Kneeling_Warrior_lg

We have all heard uncomplimentary remarks by old timers about those people they considered

worthless and no good. They said things like:

  • “Ah, they’re not worth the lead it would take to blow…”
  • “They’re not worth their salt.”

We have all learned that helping some people can be an exercise in frustration and futility. In choosing our battles and those we fight for, where do we draw a line and fight? When do we throw in the towel?

Go To God’s Word And Examples For Guidance.

Moses – Israel

God was so angry at Israel because of their quickness to backslide, He wanted to kill them and start all over. He told His plan to Moses.

Exodus 32:31 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

Moses knew the wickedness of Israel and although he could never justify their actions, he refused to give up on them. He told God; if You are going to blot them out, then just blot me out too. Moses fought for Israel even in their disobedience and wickedness.

Moses Persuaded God To Show Mercy.

Samuel – King Saul

1 Samuel 15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

1 Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

Saul was reckless in his life choices and was disobedient to God’s Word. Samuel, even with all his pristine character and godliness, could not help but cry for Saul. Saul wasn’t even crying for himself. Yet Samuel fought with tear all night long.

Pastors – Saints and Sinners

Certainly we can be grateful to live at a time when God’s Mercy is so readily available. Yet, in spite of this, a pastor’s job is never done. He does his best to keep fighting for every soul. He fights for those who want help. He even fights for those who don’t seem to be fighting for themselves.

There Is No Such Thing As A ‘Throw-A-Way Soul.”

Paul – Timothy

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.

Paul’s advice to Pastor Timothy was, don’t be harsh. These sinful people are their own problem. They can’t blame anyone else but themselves. It just may be that God will let them repent and admit the truth about themselves. It may be that God will let them recover and be restored. So, don’t give up on them. Fight for them. They aren’t doing a very good job of fighting for themselves. They need you.

  • Fight for their souls.
  • Fight for their mercy.
  • Fight for their forgiveness.
  • Fight for their restoration.
  • Fight for their marriage.
  • Fight for their family.
  • Fight for their future.
  • Fight for their eternity.
  • Fight for them…

Remember:

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

Are You Worth Fighting For? Absolutely!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm

The Day My World Wanted To Crash, But Couldn’t.

with 18 comments

The Day My World Wanted To Crash, But Couldn’t.

I sat on the side of my bed with our house phone against my left ear as I listened to my Dad’s voice. Tears were standing at ready in my eyes, just waiting for any reason to start flowing. It had been one of the worst days of my life.

I was already dressed for my Wednesday night Bible Study. The clock told me that I had only five minutes remaining before I needed to leave for church.

The sound of my Dad’s voice was the best medicine for my mind and soul at this moment. I didn’t tell him what the problem was, but he was very sharp and intuitive. He was a pastor in Sulphur, LA.

For the last eight hours or so I had sat in my pastor’s study at South Bend’s Christ Temple Apostolic Church trying to prepare for the service. Nothing seemed to make sense for me. Even with over 7,000 books in my library, I couldn’t seem to find anything that would prompt me. I read many chapters in the Bible and nothing stood out.

Well, to be honest, I focused primarily on me. I had felt like crying all day and I didn’t know why. I had the most wonderful wife and children a man could ever hope to have. I pastored a church full of people I loved and they were all so good to me.

the_world_crashes_down_by_friskeydomingo-d38ieg6Was I depressed? I didn’t want to think so. Was I dealing with condemnation? No. What was making me a basket case? Why was I on the verge of tears all day?

I tried praying and was grateful for a legitimate format for me to open up and cry in. What was the deal? What was wrong with me? Was I going through some mid-life crisis at 40 years old? I didn’t know.

Was I being overly hard and harsh on myself? Was I crying tears of disappointment because of un-achieved goals and dreams? I was afraid to think too long about that.

Who could I call and vent to? Who’s shoulder would be broad enough? I could think of no one that I wanted to burden down with my heavy load of negative feelings.

Was I out of the will of God? Was God dealing with me about something? Who knew? My self-pity was working overtime.

Even then as I sat on the side of the bed looking at the blank wall, things still weren’t making any sense. I have no memory of that ten-minute conversation of unimportant and mundane things until I said I had to go.

I had spent most of the time listening to my Father talk while I held the mouth piece of the old beige phone up high over my head in case I accidentally sniffled. I couldn’t let Dad hear me cry.

“ I gotta run Dad.” I finally said as I looked at the bedroom clock.

“I need to leave here in five minutes but I want you to know I love you and miss you.”

Then came the words that would turn my world around that night.

“I love you too son,” Dad said. “Remember this. Psa. 46:1 says that God is our refuge and strength. Don’t you ever forget that.”

I thanked him for that word, told him again that I loved him, said goodbye and picked up my Bible. As I walked out the backdoor, I looked up the Scripture passage and marked it with a ribbon.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

I visited the prayer room. No Biblical illustration came to mind that could even remotely connect that verse for me. My mind was blank. I really didn’t want to preach that night, and besides, I had nothing to preach. I was a mess.

I sat in my chair on the platform later listening to the prayers and praise of the good saints. I’m sure the worship was wonderful as usual, but I was just going through the motions. My mind was still searching for a character to illustrate the verse. What was I going to do? I didn’t know.

Finally, it was time for me to step to the pulpit. I made a few announcements and read Psa. 46:1 to the congregation while they still remained standing. When I finished, I invited them to be seated.

I announced my sermon title for the evening message. “God Is Our Refuge.” Then, I closed the Bible because there was nothing else there in the verse that could help me.

As soon as I said that God was our refuge, I was reminded of the fact that Job had a hedge around him that was placed there by God and Job didn’t even know it existed.

I pulled a folding chair up for me to sit in while I demonstrated the point. Then the word Hedge stood out to me. So I gathered several chairs around mine into a circle hoping to make a visible hedge.

I looked at the crowd and in a spirit of transparency said. “I don’t know if I am preaching tonight to you or to me. If I am just preaching tonight to me, you might as well go on home now, and I will do the same when I finish preaching this sermon.

My mind has no remembrance of what I said next or how it happened. In about three minutes, the saints began to worship and weep. I wept along with them. Then they began to shout and dance in the Holy Ghost. I shouted too. It became one of the most precious moves of the Holy Ghost we had enjoyed in many years. The service ended with victory in the camp and in our hearts.

There were no sermon notes for later reference, no recordings of the message. It was just a God moment. It was a gift from the Glory World.

I was privileged to understand more clearly what Paul meant when he said to Timothy that by preaching, he would save himself and them that heard him. It happened to me that night.

We all went home with Holy Ghost smiles on our faces. My heavy emotional load had been lifted. That verse came alive just for me, if for no one else. I willing claim it, quote it and stand upon it to this day.

That Was The Day The Day My World Wanted To Crash, But Couldn’t. Because God Truly Was My Refuge.

He’s Your Refuge Too! And In The Words Of My Late Father… “Don’t You Ever Forget It!”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm

“Is There Any Hope For Me?”

with 9 comments

“Is There Any Hope For Me?

“I don’t think God can forgive me! You don’t know what I’ve done and I am too ashamed to say anything to anyone. You may not even want me to come back to your church, and I wouldn’t blame you. I’ve made a mess of my life, but I really want to be saved.”

The old pastor sat looking at the tear filled eyes of the desperate man in his office. He had no idea what sins had been committed, and really didn’t want to know every detail unless he really had too.

Knowing that thoughts of hopelessness may drive some people to do drastic things, he turned slightly and reached for the Bible on the edge of his desk. The gentle sound of pages turning in the Bible became punctuated with several sniffles and then a loud nose blowing.

“I want to read to you a very old Scripture, son.”

The preacher ran his finger down the right side of the page until it came to rest on what he was looking for, and then he began to read the verse in a gentle and calming tone.

“Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

All manner of sin shall be forgiven unto men, and all is a very large number.

The preacher leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes while he lifted his face a bit toward the ceiling.

“ Now, I haven’t asked what you have done, but I can tell that your conscience is severely tormented. Let me do something unusual and start listing some sins that God will forgive. He will forgive them, because His Word said, ‘all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven’ so that should cover things like:

“Lying

“Cheating

“Stealing

“Shoplifting

“Robbery

“Theft

“Blackmail

“Extortion

“Embezzlement

“Bribery

“Fraud

“Murder

“Abortion

“Drinking

“Smoking

“Drug Use

“Drug Trafficking

“Kidnapping

“Car Jacking

“Pornography

“Adultery

“Fornication

“Perversion

“Immorality

“Prostitution

“Lusts

“Abuse

“Hatred

“Wrath

“Assault

“Battery

“Envy

“Jealousy

“Back biting

“Gossip

“Tale bearing

“Rebellion

“Love of the World

“False Doctrine

“Disobedience To God

“Disobedience To Man

“Women cutting their hair

“Women wear slacks

“Men letting theirs grow long

“Robbing God

“Not paying your tithes

“Backsliding

“And the list goes on…

“These are only some of the sins He forgives. All you have to do is repent and really mean it.”

The old preacher opened his eyes and smiled kindly at the distraught form in front of him.

“The good news for you is, yes there is hope for you. Yes, Jesus will forgive you, and yes He still loves you and yes, so do I.

“Let me quote 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

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

“Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

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

“In the name of the Lord Jesus… Means baptism in Jesus Name.

“By the Spirit o our God… is the Holy Ghost.

“There is forgiveness for everyone if they will repent. You’ve already obeyed Acts 2:38. You’ve already been baptized in Jesus name and you’ve been filled with the Holy Ghost. So, all you need to do to get right with God now, is repent. Confess and forsake your sins.

“Repentance is the first step. It’s the key that gets your life turned around and your sins forgiven. He knows you’ve done wrong. But He is not willing that anyone should perish or go to Hell. Not even you. He’s waiting for you to repent right now.

“If you would like, we can pray right now. Would you like for me to pray with you?”

The pastor stood up and walked toward the weeping man. They both knelt and began to pray in earnest.

That’s when Mercy walked into the room…

Written by Martyn Ballestero

August 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Who Are You To Judge Me? – Repost

with 18 comments

“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.

He Pulled Her In

with one comment

He Pulled Her In

It hadn’t rained for weeks. The horrible and devastating storm was now over. All day the dove had flown back and forth looking for food, looking for a place to land, looking for any sign of life.

She hadn’t found a thing that she could humble herself to come down to. And, she really wasn’t prepared to fly all day without landing on something somewhere.

She was weary. It was all she could do to fly the long trip back to the Ark. With labored effort she struggled toward the open window at the top of the giant boat. Her wings labored harder with every flap. She was very conscious of how tired and weary she was. She felt like she couldn’t go much farther.

Noah knew her nature. He knew she would never be happy to live in a world of filth or decay. She would never be comfortable around anything unclean. She was a dove, not a scavenger.

She had left earlier that day with a raven, but they soon went their separate ways. He happily sought out the rotten and decaying carcasses among the flood-strewn debris. She had no interest in such things.

There had been no place on earth she would allow herself to go to. Returning to the Ark was her only option. But it was almost too late. She was completely exhausted.

handThen she saw a hand stretched out towards her. She focused on the hand. This was the same hand fed her every day and cared for her. She knew all would be well if she could but make it to his outstretched hand.

The hand reached out of the Ark as far as it could; caught her and pulled her safely inside.

She was home now!

She hadn’t been strong enough to make it all the way back inside on her own, she had done what she could, but that wasn’t quite enough.

But, when she was willing to make the effort to come back to the Ark, there was an outstretched hand ready to pull her back inside!

Gen 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

Gen 8:8    Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

Gen 8:9    But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

Do you find yourself weary of a life filled with sin? There’s hope. If you will make the effort to get to the Ark of safety, I promise you, there will be an outstretched hand ready to pull you safely inside.

He’s waiting on you.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

Posted in Peace, Recovery, Sin

Tagged with

I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.

with 15 comments

I Didn’t Tell You, Because You Didn’t Want Me To.

The old preacher sat on a rock at the fork in the road. The many years of struggle showed on his face, and in the stoop of his shoulders. He watched as travelers passed him by.

Some of his preacher friends and acquaintances  stopped a moment or two to chat before continuing their journey. Many came in groups, others by themselves, but they all walked down the road.

The children of his friends walked the road too, some of them walked with their parents, others walked alone.

Most everyone nodded in acknowledgement and smiled at him while continuing on their journey. A few stopped and sat on the rock beside him to visit for a while before walking on.

The old preacher noticed that a large number did not hesitate when they came to the fork in the road. They as if by some predetermination chose which path to walk.

There were those who paused and stared at the signposts, as if unsure. One or two fumbled for their map as if to verify which road would be best.

Those who still seemed unsure of which path to choose, changed from looking at the road signs, to looking at the other travellers. If by chance they happened to see a friend that looked like they knew what path to choose, they simply followed without further ado.

Every now and then one of the young travellers that stood reading the signposts turned to the old man for advice.

“Which fork in the road should I choose?” They asked.

The old preacher would look up at their sincere faces and without hesitation point in the direction that he knew was best. Some sneered, and walked down the other road anyway. Some followed his advice.

Occasionally travelers would return to the fork of the road to look at the signs again, as if to confirm their choice.

One young preacher who had walked down the wrong path quite a ways returned to the old man and began to chastise him.

“Why didn’t you stop me? Why didn’t you tell me that was the wrong path? Why didn’t you tell me how much I would lose if I walked down that path? Why didn’t you tell me I was in delusion to believe it was a better road? I thought you were a friend to my family, and me but you didn’t stop me and tell me which road to go! Why?

The old man didn’t get offended. He looked at the son of his friend, and then began.

“You know I love you, I love your father too. You know what road he walked down, but you felt comfortable in ignoring that fact because your friends and popular people have influenced you.

“I noticed you watching me as I pointed out the right way to others. You chose to ignore this old man’s advice.

“The reason I never told you personally which road to walk down is because you never wanted to know bad enough to ask. Maybe you didn’t want to hear the word, NO! I didn’t tell you because you didn’t want me to.

“If I had told you which path to choose without you asking, you would have taken that as an insult to your intelligence. You would have felt I was interfering in your business, so I held my peace as I held my breath.

“Those who ask for direction really want help. Those who don’t ask will soon need help. It’s a mistake of youth to reject the paths of their fathers in serving the Lord.

“You once believed your choices to always be accurate. Your delusion made it feel that it was God that was guiding you, now you have fear and regret because of your great losses. It’s the mercies of the Lord that you have returned to this point.

“The bad news is there are some things you will never regain. But, the final chapter has not been written. Remember hearing your father singing the song, “It’s Not the First Mile”?

“The real question my son, is now that you know which road is right, which one will you choose?”

With a thankful embrace and a sincere apology, the young man turned and walked back to the fork. This time he chose the one marked, “The Old Path.”

21110691972777752JioYpMFXc

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 23, 2013 at 12:29 am