“ARE YOU RADICAL FOR CHRIST?”

myworldintheWord

What Makes a Christian Radical?

By Ray Delgado

What does it mean to be ” radical for the Lord”? Could it be that you wear a T-shirt that says “Jesus is my homeboy”? or maybe it’s because you go to all the christian concerts that come to town. I know what it is! Along with all my “Jesus Rocks” T-shirts and my vast ticket stub collection that proves I was at all them concerts I also have a K-Love and Way-fm bumper sticker on my car right next to my Jesus fish!

Is this what it really means to be radical for the Lord? To have all the  memorabilia and outward appearances of being a Christian? But what if my actions don’t coincide with what I’m portraying through my wardrobe? I mean, what if I’m wearing my “Jesus Rocks” T-shirt, yet I’m going around talking and acting like the rest…

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GRACE part 2: Amazing Grace

What carries over to the next life?

Amazing, saving grace that’s what!
Saving Grace entails everything I just mentioned in part one and much, much more!
Saving Grace ensures us eternal life. Not only that, but eternal life with the King of kings and Lord of lords the Creator of all things!
The Creator of the universe! The One who made you and I.
The God of forgiveness, love and mercy has given us grace!

This grace guarantees us freedom from bondage.
From the bondage of sin.
This grace frees us from addiction.
This grace frees us from hate.
This grace frees us from our own self centeredness.
This grace frees us from fear.

This grace saves us from the separation from God that would have lasted an eternity. To be frank, this grace saves us from eternity in Hell.

Many say that this grace is free. And in a sense it is. Meaning that it can’t be bought. It can’t be earned. It can’t be sold. It can’t be bartered with. A saving grace can’t be given by any human. In this sense it is free. Only God can give saving grace.
It is the free gift from a loving Almighty God. It is given to rebellious undeserving sinful people that steal, kill and destroy everything that has been given to us. In other words, God gives us what we don’t deserve, which is mercy, salvation and freedom from the bondage of sin!

But to say it is absolutely free would be unbiblical and misleading.
This saving grace came at a great cost.

This grace cost Jesus Christ His life.

All to often we say that phrase with no regard to what that really means. You can ask anyone who has ever heard of Jesus what it is He did, and most will say, “He died on a cross for sins” and then go back to life as normal. But if they would truly understand the implications of that statement, I mean truly understand it, they would come to a saving knowledge of grace. Jesus Christ was falsely accused, beaten beyond recognition and sentenced to a horrible, horrible death. It cost Him the glory He once knew from eternity past. It cost Him His dignity. It cost Him the love and affection from His Father for a period of time, but the effects were eternal! God the Father had to literally turn His back on His innocent Son in order for us, the real guilty ones to be forgiven for all our ungodliness and rebellion.

Jesus actually got what we deserved! Punishment and death!

Some of us would probably give our lives for a loved one or a friend, but would we give our lives for a perfect stranger, more less the whole world? Jesus did. If you were the only person in the whole world that needed forgiveness, He would’ve still came and died for you.

Lets not forget, a great price was paid so that we may be free.
Free from sin and guilt and the bondage that it keeps us in.

But this sinful world has been blinded and has it backwards.

They think that sin is freedom and a life with Christ puts them in bondage. The world can’t be more wrong! Sin brings bondage that leads to death. But a remorseful heart brings repentance, that leads to life. Salvation in Christ is death to sin. Death to sin is life in Christ!

So do you or I have to do anything to receive grace? A lot of pastors would have you believe that ” you don’t have to do anything” saving grace is completely free. I would have to disagree. They think that if you make a proclamation with your lips that that is good enough and actions mean nothing. But Jesus said, “Thus, by their fruits you shall recognize them.” We see this clearly in Matthew 7:15-20 and Mark 6:43-45 goes a little deeper.

The Bible tells us to count the cost. For me to tell you it will cost you absolutely nothing if you chose to follow Christ would be a lie. The truth is that in Luke 14:25-33 Jesus said it will cost us everything we own, even our lives!

But even this is a small price to pay for such an amazing gift!!!!!

GRACE part 1: Common Grace

I think it would be safe to say that all of us have heard the word grace before. It is used in different ways. For example: Figure skaters are graceful on the ice. People can be gracious towards each other. Some people are even named Grace.
But what exactly is grace?

Everybody alive right now receives grace in some form.
But those of us who have truly put our trust in Jesus Christ receive Amazing Grace! Also referred to as “Saving Grace”. The Lord of the universe is gracious. He is the giver of life. He is the sustainer of life. He is the essence of life. To put it simply, He is Life. In JOHN 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…….

There is a difference between what we know as saving grace and what is called common grace. Common grace is a gift from God that is poured out to everyone. No matter who you are. Everyone that was ever born at anytime gets to enjoy the common grace that God has given to them.

Even the wickedest of men and women get to enjoy the warmth of the sun. The cool refreshing breeze on a hot summers day. The sweet smell of the air after a rain storm.

Even the most blasphemous God hating person gets to enjoy the gift of sleep, to lay his head down at the end of the night and forget about all the worries and troubles that the day brings.

Even the vilest of human beings get to enjoy and fill their bellies with the tastiest of foods and the deliciousness of the choicest drinks.

Even the meanest and cruelest person gets to enjoy the love and affection that relationships bring. The touch of a child that looks up to them and shows them innocent love. The camaraderie of siblings. The intimacy of friendship.

Even the most sick and demented child molester gets to enjoy what we all take for granted. The three things that sustain all physical life on this planet : water, food and air.
This is common grace and all receive it. For MATTHEW 5:45 says, “For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

This all comes from a merciful and loving God who also says, ” If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

God sustains everyone of us even if we acknowledge Him or not. This is common grace.
Here in America we are privileged. Not one of us has to walk 5 miles to a river and get water for our family to drink. We pretty much have to walk 5 steps to get a drink of water.
Not one of us has to go out back and kill a cow to put a steak on the table, if fact, all we have to do is go to the Outback Steakhouse and someone else puts a steak on the table for us.
Privileged.
Common grace.
No matter how good or bad we are God shows common grace to everyone. But even more so here in America. I think America has gotten to the point where a lot of people think that common grace is good enough.
The problem with that is, thats about the extent of common grace. It sustains you and I through this life time, however long or short that may be.
Once common grace has ended, thats it!
This sort of grace doesn’t carry over to the next life.

Thank God all charges leveled against me have been dropped!

And this is a good thing for my sake because the bond set against me was so astronomically high I never would have been able to pay it! Not only did my Lawyer get the bond dropped, He got all the charges dropped and the case completely dismissed!

How He did this is beyond me. I still can’t fathom it! You know why? Because all the accusations were true. I was guilty of everything brought against me. There were too many charges to name and frankly I would be ashamed if I had to list them all.

My Lawyer got my record expunged.

But before that happened……

For years I had been trying to defend myself from all these charges. Knowing all the while I was guilty. I was just trying to save my tail from the death penalty. Yes, the death penalty. The sentence I received was death. My crimes were that heinous. My case went all the way to the Supreme Court! I had to surrender to the fact that I was guilty and needed to plead as so. I stopped all my appeals and decided to face The Judge to admit my crimes were true as stated against me and that the death penalty should be carried out as ordered with no more appeals on my part.

At this point I asked for a public defender to start the process.

I had no money to pay or nothing to give for his services, but I was told I didn’t need any kind of reimbursement or payment of any kind. It was simply told to me that everything had already been paid for. To my amazement, instead of a public defender I was given the best Lawyer that ever practiced law. This Lawyer had defended countless criminals such as myself and was able to get them acquitted and their records expunged as well!

When I finally sat down with my Lawyer and asked Him why and how He could do all this He told me that a long time ago He had struck a deal with The Judge and had offered to pay all costs, restitution and the sentences for any and all who would come clean and admit to their guilt. The Judge agreed and this Lawyer has been defending the guilty ever since.

After my release He offered me a position in His firm and I gladly accepted. To this day I am a free man and have been working for Him ever since.

Are you on death row or know of someone who is and needs to be freed? If so, here is His card, give Him a call:

THE LAW FIRM OF                             FATHER SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.                 Contact: Jesus Christ                             Hours: 24/7                                     Location: Where You Are At                We work on a case by case evaluation 

The Acquitted 

By Ray Delgado

MASTER or MISTRESS?

myworldintheWord

By Ray Delgado

O’ unbelieving and unfaithful soul that cares not for the things of Christ!

You are perverse in your thought and action, yet feel no shame or guilt.

Your conscience gasps for life as you drown it in a pool of sin.

As it dies you rejoice and proclaim yourself god.

Wrong becomes right, right becomes wrong.

Twisted theology.

How wonderful to you that evil no longer exist in your sight.

Liberty takes on new and wondrous meaning as you are free to indulge in iniquity.

Care free life, your will be done.

Disobedient to every law of God, yet self assured of your salvation.

Running at breakneck speed down the broad road convinced you will arrive at the narrow gate.

Hand in hand with the serpent of old.

Self deception is bliss.

Your eyes are worldly, your speech is wicked.

You proclaim the Masters name openly, but…

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Unreasonable Expectations

By Ray Delgado

Do you get mad when you look out at the world and see all the terrible things that are happening? Maybe in your own neighborhood, your job, your school, your family? Of course you do, or at least I would hope you do if you are a Christian man or woman. As ones who have been changed by the wonderful power and grace of God we now see the ugliness of the world ( that we also were once part of and contributers to ) But what kind of anger is this? Do we go overboard with our anger, frustration and disappointment with what’s going on around us? Are we mad because we think these things shouldn’t be happening or think that the people around us shouldn’t be doing the things they are doing or acting the way they are acting? I can tell you as a new Christian (when I was first born again) I definitely was angry with the world and the sin it was committing.

Like many, who at new birth, I had finally seen and come to recognize the fatal error that I was in before I became a believer. But I had totally forgotten that I too was once part of and played a role in a sinful and dying world that gave no second thought as to the contributions I also made to this sin stricken world that caused it to be the way it is ( Ephesians 2:1-3 ). Here’s the problem, when we become new believers in Jesus Christ, and have “seen the Light” ( vv. 2:4-9 ) we have the tendency to condemn and chastise the unbelieving world as though they should see the error of their ways just as we have come to see them and do exactly as we did, that is to (repent and turn to Christ). But is this a reasonable expectation? I mean are we to expect the unbelieving world to act holy and righteous? Are we to expect our friends and family to change as we did when the Lord saved us?

It’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are now able to see things differently ( John 3:5-8 ). It’s by His Spirit in us that we perceive the world through a different lens. When once we justified our sinful behavior by our standards, we are now justified by what Jesus did on the cross ( vv. 3:14-17 ). We are not perfect, but we are forgiven. How can we expect the world to act right when they don’t even know the One who made things right at Calvary? We are not called to “change” the world from evil to good. We are called to preach the Word and live a life that honors God. No matter our efforts the world will only continue to get worse and worse. The Lord tells us this in Matthew 24. The Lord knows who will eventually come to faith, but we don’t ( John 10:14-16 ). So we must preach Christ crucified, stay faithful and let the Holy Spirit do the heart work!

So often I hear sermons on repentance and it’s stated as just a mere “turning away from sin”. While this is true and has a part in repentance, it doesn’t contain the whole scope of repentance, if you will. There’s more than just “turning from sin”. There’s has to be a change in the way we see the world, our world view or perception of things must change. A change in the way we think must happen. A change of attitude must occur. It’s not just a matter of saying, “I’m not going to do this or that anymore”. That will happen, but now it becomes “why?” why aren’t we going to do this or that anymore? It’s because the Holy Spirit of God has changed our minds! ( 2 Corinthians 5:17 )We now see these things as an offense to a holy God that has done a miracle in us. The good things of God we knew we should do but hated to do, and the evil things of this world and of the flesh that we loved to do, are actually backward. The Holy Spirit comes and straightens this out. This is the evidence of a changed life! Now you have the ability to actually “turn away from sin”. The will to turn away from sin might be there, which is the initial remorse (2 Corinthians 7:10) before you are born again, but the ability to do it only comes after the supernatural act of grace is given by God.

Jesus said when upon that Cross, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 ). Then He did what He had to do in order for us to know what we did and now must do and that is to repent and believe the good news! ( Mark 1:14-15 ) The world must first recognize that sin is in fact sin, until then it is unreasonable to expect them to conform to the way of the Master. So lets not be to hard on a sinful world that we also came out of. But instead display the fruits of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22-24 )that were once foreign to us even when we were at our best. For the Lord said good fruit does not come from bad trees (Luke 6:43-45 ). So lets quit cutting our hands trying to pull grapes out of thorn bushes, instead let us seek out the good fruit. The Word of God weeds out the bad fruit from the good fruit and when it lands on good soil you will know it, it’s hard not to recognize when a bad tree has been replace with a good one! ( Matthew 13:23 )

NON-BIBLE BELIEVING CHRISTIANS?

By Ray Delgado
Is it possible to call yourself a Christian yet deny the Bible? Or claim that what is written in it just applies to those of the time it was written? If thats what you think, my friend you are deluded and self deceived. It is an oxymoron. Thats like saying you are a fireman but refuse to go out and fight fires. Thats like a judge saying “I’m a judge, but I don’t need the law books, they don’t apply to me or this bench that I precede over.” It’s ridiculous! If you don’t think the Bible applies to this day in age, you are saying the promises that Jesus pronounced were limited and no longer hold true for us. That is paramount to NO HOPE! It’s absurd! The word “christian” does not mean what it did in the N.T era. Christian means: Christ follower. Jesus said if you love me you will obey my commandments (1 John 5:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 4:17) and so on. It also gives dire warnings to those that deny it’s validity. The Bible is inundated with passages that talk about believing in the Gospel. If you CLAIM to be “christian” but don’t think the Bible applies to you, you need to examine yourself and see if you are truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). The Bible stands the test of time for a reason. Because those who have truly been born again have preserved it as the inerrant Word of God (God has preserved it using man). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) It is one of the basic tenants of Christianity! So Jesus is the same always, but His word or His teachings or anything else doesn’t apply anymore? Can you see the absurdity in this? Everybody and anybody is a “christian” today, just because their mommy or grand-mommy was. Not so. One must come to saving faith on their own and it’s only by the saving power of the Holy Spirit that draws them in and supernaturally changes them. You can’t just say, “Ok I’m Christian today” and deny the Bible as being relevant to you! My friend I pray you come to this realization and ask for repentance and truly examine yourself and see if you are saved.

MATTHEW 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not do this and did we not do that? And then I will say to them, “I never knew you; depart from me you workers of evil”. (my paraphrase)

To do the will of the Father we must know what the Father says and it is through His word that He has graciously given us to read, study, learn and apply to our everyday lives (even in this era). Don’t mean to be a buzz kill or rain on your deluded parade, but if your “claiming” to be a Christian (and I use that word loosely) but think the Bible is no longer relevant in this day or doesn’t apply to you, well my friend “YOU ARE NOT A TRUE FOLLOWER OF THE REAL JESUS CHRIST OF THE BIBLE!” How could you possible be, if you can’t even stand on His Word?

Even angels long to look into these things….

By Ray Delgado

As being one of Gods many beautiful creations, the angels in Heaven knew of Gods redemptive plan for all humanity, but being that God is the only Supreme Omniscient Being they didn’t have full knowledge of all the details about His plan. I’m sure a few select hierarchy of angels were in the whole fold of things to come, but the majority of Heaven was awaiting the outcome of this unprecedented act of God in anticipation.

As the Holy Spirit drew all angelical beings from all corners of the heavens to gather ’round the Throne of the Almighty, the archangels gave strict orders to the countless legions to fix their eyes on earth. Cosmic history unlike which none has been seen since the Genesis, was about to unfold!

Although Jesus had told the twelve about His soon and upcoming departure, they did not fully comprehend what was about to transpire. They were soon to be involved in a plan that had been determined before time existed.

The bread was broken, the wine was drank. Soon after, the walk to the garden was underway. With bellies full and the night ahead of them, all that was on the mind of the eleven was sleep. If only they knew what was on the mind of their Lord they might have stood awake.

This was a torturous cup! This was a murderous cup! This was a bitter cup! But the Lord knew, the cup was His! For the Father had poured it for the Son to drink and the Son accepted it.

The humanness of Jesus was on full display.

Anguish, despair, sorrow. Red drops of sweat embraced the ground with overwhelming sadness! Yet, through prayer and obedience to the Father, the cup was in the hands of Jesus and there was nothing left to do, but drink.

The stench of betrayal permeates through His cheek!
The forgiveness of man begins with the kiss of a traitor!

Hate breeds lies. Lies come from the father of lies. The father of lies was a murderer from day one. Hate is a murderer! They loved their father, who was from below. They were a bloodthirsty brood! Ungodly accusers! They craved the Blood of the Innocent. The cowards howled for the terrible pain which the Tree promised to deliver. They welcomed His Blood on to their hands and on to the hands of their children.

The halls of injustice prevailed! He had no chance.

O’ cruel man! You would have had more mercy on a stray dog then you did on the Son of Man! Excruciating and agonizing! Open stripes that colored the soil red and turned the heart blue. A Crown of pain was placed upon You. Beaten relentlessly! Unrecognizable! Humiliation on parade! Sorrow took the lead, dignity lagged behind trying unsuccessfully to catch up. The path of despair was walked by the One who would soon pave the narrow road, open to all, but chosen only to be traveled by few.

The Tree He carried on His shoulders weighed but an ounce compared to the weight of the world He was about to take upon Himself.

Onward to the skull! Mercilessly!
The spikes that pierced His hands and feet, the spear that pierced His side, also pierced His mothers heart. Raised He was! Hour after hour times three, He hung.

The invitation was sent. Death never cancels.
Head bowed.
Spirit committed.
It was finished!

Ugly suffering He endured, for the beautiful Grace to abound!
Flee in defeat ‘O enemy of God and man!
Victory is His!

The angels did not understand why the Father had turned His back on the Son. This Jesus had been with them for all eternity. In fact, He created them! Now here He was on earth getting slaughtered by another one of His very own creations!

At the moment before His death, every vile, nasty, ugly, unspeakable, unholy, rotten, dirty, perverted, underhanded, shameful, despicable, lowdown, shady, gross, immoral, blasphemous, godless sin committed and yet to be committed by wicked men was to be taken into Himself all at once, once and for all!

For no other reason than, because He loved us!
It is for this reason that all Heaven stood breathless!

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life”

The New American Church

By Ray Delgado

Sunday church usually begins before “service” starts. Cafes’, coffee bars and even B.B.Q area’s have no shortage of goodies to satisfy the “church goers” appetite to “be feed”. Coffee , donuts, breakfast burritos, hotdogs, hamburgers and even popcorn are sure to get one “prepared” for the “message”.

At the top of the hour we are treated to a spectacular concert that includes lights and a laser show that rivals only that of Red Rocks Amphitheater. Don’t worry if you are not in the mood for “worship” at this time, the musical performers will make sure you are ready with all the cool hypnotic, ear popping radio hits that will surely get “the spirit” moving.

That did the trick, your heart is now “emotionally” prepared for the “word”. What follows next is either story time or comedy hour depending on your “pastor”, which is sure to have plenty of hoots, hollers and applause for the stand-up comedian or gifted storyteller. This is a fun time, the highlight of the week. It’s just what you needed.

Depending on the “church”, it is now time to pay for all this wonderful entertainment. But no worries if you can’t pay, just sit back and enjoy the rest of the show, which includes announcements of up coming “events” for next week and an encore by that fabulous band that started your “spiritual journey” this morning.

Don’t forget to tell all that you pass on the way out the door to “have a blessed week” as you exit the stadium. After all, this is the “Christian” thing to do.

You are now equipped for the week to come. You now have all the “power” principles you need to “have a blessed week”. Make sure you post these “biblical” principles on the fridge so you can put them into “practice” this week.

My principle “to do” list:
1). Tell myself—“everythings fine, nothing can bring me down, just be “positive””.
2). Be assertive—do what it takes to get that new car the Lord wants to bless me with, cause after all I do deserve it.
3). Believe & Say—if I keep “speaking” this over my life, I “believe”it will “come to be”.
But my #1 principle of all is #4!
The power to say “no!” to all these poor and ungodly people and all their negativity!
After all, the bible says, “God helps those who help themselves” so why should I help them if they don’t even wanna help themselves?

Well have “a blessed week”! I gotta go “Pastor” Joel is on t.v.”preaching” on how to “never ever” have another bad day in your life!”

Signed,
Obvious Sarcasm, but Sad Truth