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All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

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All He Ever Wanted, Was Someone To Love Him

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

He had it all.

Actually, He had everything.

Well, He had everything, except one thing.

He had no one to love Him.

He had Angels who praised Him continuously.

He had Angels who did His bidding without question.

But He had no one to love Him.

He had no one to dote on Him.

He had received honor before.

He had received praise before.

But He had never been loved before.

He had never seen love demonstrated.

He had never seen love displayed.

He had never seen love expressed or shown.

He had never seen romance before.

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

He understood emotions like rebellion, pride, and obedience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He wanted to find someone to love Him.

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

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

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

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

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

Then He stopped talking.

Adam And Eve

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

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

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

He watched them hold hands and kiss.

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

He tried to imagine a mere mortal loving Him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Enoch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Hosea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jezreel, “God will disperse”

Lo-ruhamah, “Not pitied, or No Mercy”

Lo-ammi, “Not my people”

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

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

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

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

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Calvary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

The Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

You

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

All He Ever Wanted Was For Someone To Love Him.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

If My Pastor Went Charismatic

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If My Pastor Went Charismatic

 

Most Apostolics have been blessed with a wonderful pastor whom we think is the best in the world. We love our church family and feel safe in our knowledge of God’s word.

Every now and then we hear unsettling news of a pastor somewhere who has led the flock astray from the old paths. We shake our heads in dismay and our hearts ache.

That kind of news makes good saints pray for their pastor even more and thank God for him. It makes them feel a greater thankfulness for their own church and for truth.

We pray to God that we will never have to live through something like that. But, God forbid, what if it happened in the church we attend? What would we do? How would we react? I cannot speak for anyone but myself, so for what its worth, here’s what I would do.

After carefully listening to him preach and promote his approval of things that the Bible disapproves of, the things we have been taught, and things he used to preach against.

I Would…

  • Not agree with him.
  • Be horrified.
  • Recognize his doctrine as false.
  • Be disappointed in my pastor.
  • Be fearful for my family and myself.
  • Pray for him.
  • Ask to meet with him.

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.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

 

I Would…

  • In a humble spirit question the direction he was taking the church.
  • Express my concern and fears.
  • Respectfully remind him of what he used to preach.
  • Remind him of what our elders taught us.
  • Try to reason with him.
  • Show a good spirit.

 

If That Meeting Didn’t End Well…

 

I Would…

  • Take other members with me for a second talk.

Matt. 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

 

If That Meeting Didn’t End Well Either…

 

I Would…

  • Pray for him.
  • Pray for the safety of the souls of my family.
  • Realize God had given him a delusion because he didn’t receive a love for the Truth.

2Thess. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2Thess. 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

I Would Understand…

  • Just because he is compromising, doesn’t mean I have to go with him.
  • Just because he’s convince of a damnable lie doesn’t mean I am.
  • Just because he is preaching false doctrine, doesn’t mean I have to let my family be indoctrinated and cursed too.
  • He was in false doctrine.
  • He was wresting the scriptures to his own destruction.
  • If I stayed, I would be lost, just like him.
  • That in the Old Testament God always cursed the kings that led Israel astray.
  • He is a heretic, and I reject him.

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

G141 (Thayer) heretick

“schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine”

 

I Would Recognize…

  • Like God lifted his anointing from Saul, God was lifting it from my pastor too.
  • That when men lose their revelation of Holiness, the revelation of the Godhead always seems to be next.
  • Immorality may be the next monster to surface in that environment. It almost always has.

 

I Would…

  • Leave!
  • I would NOT be disrespectful.
  • Understand this is not a normal transfer, this is life or death.
  • Realize I don’t need his permission or blessing to go, the Bible gives it to me.
  • Encourage all my family and friends to go with me, “pulling them from the fire.”
  • Plead the Blood over my family against the seducing spirits.
  • Find a church that was truly Apostolic in doctrine, worship and holiness.
  • I would go there and be grateful that Truth was being preached.
  • I would do my best to be the best saint in my new church.
  • I would pray daily that God keep my new pastor in truth and support him.

 

 

May God Keep Us All Safe From False Doctrine!

____________________________________________________

 

Additional References:

Mark Them And Don’t Fellowship Them

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

 

False Prophets Are Among You

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

 

Some Pervert The Gospel

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Puzzle Prayer Time

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Puzzle Prayer Time

The beautiful white-haired grandma sat silently beside me as our car rolled down the Interstate. Marcia Starr Ballestero, my devoted wife of fifty years, was letting her thoughts and heart focus on the needs of a family member.

Puzzle Prayer TimeSmall talk between us had died out when she picked up her iPad. From the corner of my eye I could see that she was doing it again. She does it at home too, almost every day.

She was going through her camera roll and albums looking for a specific photo. That’s her pattern. Today she chose one of our children and their spouse. Some times she chooses a picture of just one person, other times it may be a couple or even their whole family. Once in a while she chooses a picture of us.

The selected photo is then imported into her jigsaw puzzle app. Her gentle fingers begin to move over the hundreds of pieces. She moves them here and there trying to make them fit where she thinks they should go.

Her puzzles may last an hour or two, sometimes longer. The attraction she has for puzzles isn’t so much her love for games, but it actually is part of her family prayer time.

As she moves each piece of the puzzle into place, she is praying silently. She is praying for every aspect of their life. She prays for their soul, their marriage, their health, their finances and their home.

I do my best not to interrupt her puzzle prayer time. She methodically attempts to make pieces fit in place. Often she gets it right the first time. Other times not. When it becomes a trial and error project, it is like real-life to her. Her prayer focus is on the missing pieces in that person’s picture. Loving fingers slide over the face, sometimes the heart and then lingers a moment.

  • I wonder, is she praying for their heart?
  • Is she praying for them to make right decisions?
  • Is she praying for God to keep them safe?
  • I never ask.

When she is finished, she will hold the photo up for me to see. When I compliment her on the beautiful picture, she smiles. I know that there was a lot of love and prayer put into that puzzle. How much? Only God and her know.

No one else in our family knows about this. Our children and grandchildren do not even know. But heaven knows that there is a loving Mother and Grandmother who is trying to make the pictures of her family turn out right by asking for God’s help to find the missing pieces and put them in the right place.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 12, 2015 at 10:49 am

Inside Mercy’s House

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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

Are You Worth Fighting For?

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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

She Couldn’t Stop Crying!

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She Couldn’t Stop Crying!

Mary held her scarf in place as she tearfully ran to her brother’s house. She couldn’t stop crying. All of her dreams had just crumbled into a horrible nightmare. This was the worst day of her life.

She had been a woman scorned by polite society all of her life.  Most of the married women who knew her, worried about her influence on their husbands.

But for the last several years now, she had been a changed woman; transformed and forgiven by the one who is called Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.

But now her Lord was dead. The only One who had ever given her hope had just been killed.

She ran almost blindly, down the darkening narrow street, nearly bumping into strangers. Her eyes focused on her brother’s house. Her pace quickened. Neighbors looked at Mary and then at each other in wonder, not knowing whether to be concerned for Mary or alarmed about something else. why was she running?

She didn’t bother knocking when she got to the door. Mary only slowed her pace slightly as she shoved the door open.

“They’ve killed Him!” She said breathlessly to the startled faces in the room.

“Killed him? Killed who?” Mary’s brother, Nathan asked as he sprang to his feet.

“Jesus. They’ve just crucified Jesus! The soldiers did it. I was there and I saw everything!”

Mary sank into a nearby chair and allowed the floodgate that held back her emotions to open up. Tears flowed afresh.

Nathan looked at his wife Elizabeth not knowing how to respond. They both were happy to see the changes in Mary’s life, but they were still unsure that her attachment to this Jesus person and His Disciples was a good thing for them.

“I thought your Jesus was going to overthrow the Romans and make himself king if he could get enough followers,” Nathan said trying to make a point.

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“You should have seen him.” Mary said, ignoring her brother’s remark. “After they had beaten him till his back was bloody, and could hardly stand, they wove a thorn-bush into a crown and then they placed it on his head smashing it down hard. It made me sick.

“Those cruel heathen soldiers showed how heartless they were as they stripped his robe from him just to shame him publicly. I saw them as they gambled to see who got his clothes.”

Mary stopped to wipe her eyes again.

“Then they forced him to a cross they had on the ground and while they held him in place, the soldiers drove big nails into his hands and feet. Blood ran everywhere. But He never winced or changed his expression.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off of him as the soldiers lifted up the cross and let it drop down hard into the hole they had dug. It made a sickening thud, and his body shook hard. Then more blood started running down his hands, arms and back.

“Horrible people in the crowd starting cheering and saying mean things to him. Jesus looked at the soldiers and at the cheering crowd and said, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’

“Can you imagine that?”

Nathan and Elizabeth shook their heads no. They both then as if on cue, found a place to sit down as they listened to more of Mary’s story.

“What did the crowd say to that?” Elizabeth asked.

“They just kept on mocking and laughing at him. Some of his Disciples were standing close to his mother, Mary.

“Some of his disciples? They weren’t all there?” Nathan asked with a deep furrow in his brow.

“I looked very carefully, but I couldn’t find Judas or Peter anywhere. I was very surprised that Peter was missing. If he was there, I couldn’t see him.” Mary continued.

“There were three big groups there today. There were his followers that were weeping, there was a bigger crowd of those that hated him and just mocked him. Then there were those that just stood on the sidelines and watched. They showed no emotion either way. It was as if they came for the entertainment. They just didn’t care.

“What happened next?” Nathan asked.

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“He said he was thirsty, and a soldier tried to give him some vinegar to drink. He also said something like, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’

“Then he said to John that he wanted him to take care of their mother. He said some other things I can’t remember right now just before he closed his eyes. When he did close his eyes, it wasn’t long before his just head slumped over.

“The soldiers started breaking the legs on the others that were crucified, to make sure they were dead, but when they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead so they stuck a spear in his side. Blood and water gushed down his body and dripped on the ground. Blood and water!

“I turned then and ran here as fast as I could. I couldn’t bear to see anymore.”

With that, Mary sprang to her feet and looked about the darkening room in alarm.

“It’s only the middle of the day and it’s dark outside already! ”Mary said as she ran to the window. “I can see that the chickens are getting up on the roost. What is happening?

Elizabeth screamed and reached for her husband as the ground began to shake violently. The dishes and furniture shook very hard. The floor moved hard up and down and the walls trembled.

Cries of alarm came from homes nearby. Cracks began to show in the walls of their houses while dried dirt fell from the ceilings. Then as it had begun, earthquake was quickly over.

“These are signs! Mary said as she faced her brother and sister-in-law. “These are signs from God! They have killed the Lord’s Anointed, the Messiah, and even nature is upset.”

The three stood close together unsure of what would happen next. They heard noises in the street and a man was talking very loud and very fast. Nathan went outside to see what the commotion was about. A few minutes later he came back inside. His face was ashen and his hands were shaking.

“What’s the matter?” Mary wanted to know.

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“Rueben, the Levite said that he’d just come from the Temple and that the Veil protecting the Holiest of Holies ripped all by itself. It ripped right in the middle, from the top clear down to the bottom without anyone touching it!

“The High Priest, you know, is only allowed to go in to the Mercy Seat once a year, but now the Veil has been torn. Everyone can see in there.

“The High Priest and the Levites are all scared; they ran from the Temple not knowing what they should do. They were afraid of God’s judgment on them for seeing into the Holiest of Holies. There is nothing in the Law about how to correct this problem.

“Two more things.  Reuben said that some big rocks that he has seen in the same place for years, now are all broken in half. and no one split them.

And number two, he said he saw some graves of the old saints were opened up and no one was in them.”

Nathan sat down while Elizabeth and Mary lighted a few lamps.

“Nathan, I know you haven’t been a follower of Jesus like I have. But you know the difference and the change that he made in my life. I’m not the same person anymore. You know that. You can see that. Everyone in town that knew me before can see that.

Mary started crying again remembering the moment she had knelt at the feet of Jesus in Simon’s house. She had held his feet and cried tears of repentance. She hadn’t any towel to wipe the tears away, so she had dried his feet with her hair. Then she had taken perfume, worth a whole years wages, and poured it on his feet.

“I am so ashamed of my past, but He forgave me and gave me hope.

Nathan and Elizabeth both nodded.

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“If that is not enough, the sun went down just now and it got dark at noonday, there was a great earthquake shook everything. The Temple Veil tore in half by the Hand of God! From the top of the Veil… where man can’t even reach. You know those things are not a coincidence! This is a God thing.”

“I’m scared.” Elizabeth said, as she looked first at Nathan then at Mary. “Why don’t you stay here with us a couple of nights so we can talk? I want to know more about your Jesus.”

Mary thanked her and looked at her brother, he nodded his approval. The three talked about the days events for a while longer before going to bed.

Even after Mary had been in bed for a long time, her mind wouldn’t shut down. Then it came to her. She just could not let Jesus lay in some tomb without any ointment and spices. She knew no on had taken the time to wash the blood from his body either. That was the least she could do.

Tomorrow she would make plans and find where to get the necessary spices, ointments and perfumes she would need.

The next morning Mary announced to Elizabeth what she wanted to do and they went shopping for the special perfume and ointment ingredients.

The buzz everywhere was about the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, the sun going down early, the earthquake and the torn Temple Veil.

Elizabeth wondered aloud to Mary if she thought the followers of Jesus would be safe now. They had killed Jesus. What would they do to his believers?

At home that night, the special ointments, oils and spices were mixed together. A special cloth had been purchased as well.

Early Sunday morning before daylight, Mary slipped out of the house and headed for the Tomb that she had heard he had been buried in. Her arms were full with the necessary items for an honorable burial. It was the least she could do.

But when Mary got to the tomb, she was in for the greatest shock of her life! She arrived at the tomb while it was still dark. Yet, she could see the protective stone had been rolled away. The tomb was empty!

Mary was overwhelmed with emotion, in shock she turned and started running, not quite sure where.  In the darkness she ran and nearly bumped into Peter and John.

“The tomb is empty, they have taken him away,” she said breathlessly!

Peter and John running to the tomb (painting by Dan Burr)

Peter and John running to the tomb (painting by Dan Burr)

The men ran to the tomb. They had to see for themselves. When they saw it was empty, hope died in their souls and they turned and slowly went home.

But Mary just stood there. She could leave. She couldn’t stop crying. She finally got brave enough to look again into the empty tomb. It was getting a little lighter by now.

As she stooped down and looked into the empty tomb, she saw two angels sitting there. One sat at the head and one at the feet of where Jesus had lain.

Woman, why are you crying?” The Angels wanted to know.

“Because they have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they’ve taken him.”

Mary turned around with fresh tears in her eyes and saw Jesus, whom she guessed was probably the Gardener.

“Why are you crying woman?” He asked.

Mary at the tombMary still crying blindly said accusingly, “Sir, if you have taken him somewhere, please tell me, and I’ll take him away.

Jesus spoke her name in that familiar voice.

“Mary!”

There was something in the way he spoke her name.

  • It was the same voice that had spoken forgiveness to her when she was a sinner.
  • It was the same voice that had spoken healings and miracles to the multitudes.
  • If she knew any voice in the world, she knew that voice.

She wiped the tears away enough to see him better.

“Rabboni!” She said. (Which is another word for Master.)

Her first reaction was the desire to throw her arms around him and never let him go. Jesus knew that, and simple said…

“Do not touch me, for I have not yet be glorified. Just go to my brethren, and tell them that I am alive. I have risen!”

  • That is exactly what Mary did.
  • Seeing Jesus turned her tears into joy.
  • This is what Jesus is still doing.
  • Let Him turn your sorrow into joy today!

 

It’s what the hope of the Resurrection is all about!

Celebrate Easter this Sunday by Receiving the Holy Ghost, the power of the Resurrection.

If you do… You too will rise again!

He’s Alive!

 

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John Chapter 20

 

The Empty Tomb

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

 

Mary Find Peter And John

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

 

Mary Can’t Stop Crying

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

 

Mary Meets Jesus And Doesn’t Recognize Him

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

 

Mary Sent To Tell The Apostles

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

 

Jesus Among His Disciples

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.

 

Doubting Thomas

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 28, 2013 at 12:16 am

He Didn’t Know Anything About Sin.

with 6 comments

He Didn’t Know Anything About Sin.

 

The little lamb watched as the two men approached. He continued to graze as they slowly walked among the flock and took a long time looking at each lamb with a critical eye.

He hadn’t been around humans very much. He knew little of them. He had no understanding of their nature. They were different from him. They were bold, loud, and they made him uneasy. He was a just a lamb.

As a lamb, all he had ever known was the peace of the morning sun, and the gentle breeze of the afternoon as he napped. He enjoyed the lush green grass of the pasture and the cool still waters of the little brook. He even liked the evening dew on his back. But, he knew nothing of anything else.

  • the_lambHe didn’t know anything about sin.
  • He knew nothing of shame or condemnation.
  • He didn’t know the meaning of stealing or robbing.
  • He knew nothing about hatred, or bitterness.
  • He didn’t know about addictions or substance abuse.
  • He knew nothing of impurity or immorality.
  • He didn’t know about lying or deception.
  • He knew nothing about not honoring his father or mother.
  • He didn’t know about idols or graven images.
  • He knew nothing of coveting or lust.
  • He didn’t know about jealousy or strife.
  • He knew nothing about sin.

 

He watched as their eyes focused on him. Soon, the older one reached down and held him while the younger began to examine him.

The lamb stood silently still as a hand rubbed down his backbone.

“Perfect,” the younger man said.

 

The hand ran down his front leg as the man continued his commentary.

“He’s not bow-legged, or knock-kneed. He’s not splayed or pigeon-toed.

“He’s perfect!” The younger man said again.

 

Then firm hands held him still as the men critically examined his head.

“Perfect,” the old man said.

 

They looked at his ears, and their placement on his head.

They looked into his eyes, to see if he was wall-eyed, bug-eyed, cross-eyed, blind, or injured.

They also examined his eyelids to see if they worked properly.

“Every thing looks perfect on his head too,” the old man said.

 

Then, the hands rubbed down his nose, checking for bumps, lumps or dips, before pulling his lips apart to look into his mouth. They looked at his teeth placement and checked for any abnormality.

“Check him for a over bite or under bite,” the old man said.

The lamb felt the hands turn his head sideways as the two examined his jaw.

“He’s Perfect,” the younger man said.

 

“Let’s check him for scars, or scratches.” The young man suggested.

Hands slowly examined his back, sides and legs through the wool.

“He perfect!” the younger man said again.

 

“Does he have scabies, or eczema?

Oh, and check his conformation again, and look once again for any other deformity.” The older man ordered.

When the examination was finished, the older man turned to his son and became serious.

“When you go to the priest today seeking forgiveness for your sins, it will not be you, that the priest examines. He will only examine the lamb. As much as I love you son, you can’t pass inspection. Neither can I.

“If the lamb is perfect, then we are forgiven! Only the blood of a perfect lamb will cover our sins. Just like in the Garden when a perfect lamb was slain for the sins of Adam and Eve.

 

“Now, this lamb is perfect, so take it to the priest and your sins will be forgiven. You have found the perfect lamb.”

The young man picked up the lamb, held it carefully in his arms as he walked towards the Tabernacle.

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Old Testament – The Only Way To Remit Sin Was By The Blood Of The Lamb.

Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

 

New Testament – The Only Way To Remit Sin Was By The Blood Of The Lamb.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

1Pet 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1Pet 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

 

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

 

Today – The Only Way To Remit Sin Is By The Blood Of The Lamb.

How Does This Story Apply To My Life Today?

Only the blood of the Lamb of God can cover our sins. That happens when we are baptized and the name of Jesus is called over us in obedience to Acts 2:38!  (Just like everyone in the New Testament Church was baptized.)

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

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Are Your Sins Remitted?

 

1. If not, and you would like a Home Bible Study in your home, please let me know. I will be happy to assist you.

2. Also, It would be my honor to direct you to a great Apostolic church near you!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm