Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seven "Bottom Line" Thoughts



Every believer has the entire Christian life living in them right now.
Christ is all and is in all.
Colossians 3:11

The only way to grow the quality and the reach of our love is to grow in Christ as the center of our life.
"My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in in you..."
Galatians 4:19          

There is a difference between my soul and my spirit. My spirit is sealed and secure in eternal  connection to Jesus. My soul is imperfect and in the process of learning to love again.
Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

There is nothing the presence of Christ in me cannot cure.
John 7:37-38
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.

Jesus is my life, therefore, my life is perfect.  The sum of my experience in this world is far from perfect, therefore, my experience in this world is not my life.  
Philippians 1:21
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Whatever gets my attention gets me.
Matthew 6:22-23
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Underestimating Jesus leads me to my greatest losses.
John 15:5

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Jesus - Invitation or Innovation?



For many people Jesus was simply a teacher of moral innovations and an agent of change.  Many people give Jesus credit as one of history’s most influential moral forces and innovators. Attributing to Jesus any power or sustainability beyond his ideias and innovations does not fit the modern view of Jesus. He died, they say, but his ideias and innovations live on among all the other competing ideias and innovations.

People who see Jesus in this way have never come to grips with the Jesus of history or the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible and history never called people to his ideas and innovations. and he never said he was an innovator ready to compete.

Jesus called people to Himself not  to His ideias.  In fact, He did not traffic in ideas or innovations. He stated facts over which he claimed to have total authority given to Him from His Father. He was singularly focused on His own facts as the facts that matter.

Perhaps to best way to see Jesus is as a personal, loving invitation given  to each of us written in flesh and blood.  Everything Jesus said and did is an invitation to us to come home to the original idea the Creator has always had for humanity which is Jesus.  Jesus embodied this original human ideal and turned it into a personal invitation to live Him.

One does not evaluate the ideas of an invitation. One evaluates the one who invites.  Take a good look at Jesus. See Him and listen closely to Him.  If He appears to be generous, loving and caring, say ´yes´ to His invitation.  There will never be a better one that comes to us.  He is the God we all hoped exists!


Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Will of God




Doing the will of God is food for the human soul and for human strength and development.  We were created to do God's will and in the process live well.  Not doing God’s will  may be normal for humans at this time in human experience, but sin entered human experience as something unnatural when humanity failed to do God’s will.  Doing the will of God is what was once natural for human beings.  Adam and Eve tasted the food  and strength of doing God's will before they tasted temptation's illusion and pain.

When Jesus said doing the will of His Father was His food, He was saying doing the will of God is good and sustaining for humanity.  Jesus showed us what should be normal for humanity. Normal is doing God's will every day just like we need to eat every day.

We are surrounded then by unnatural human behavior that the Bible calls "sin".   Sinning adds nothing to life, but it most certainly subtracts from life.  Sin does not feed anyone. Sin steals food from life and moves us closer to death.

As we abide in Christ we begin to experience Jesus' continuous flow of life and love passing to us and through us as fruit.  When doing the will of God becomes as natural as eating we are heading  back to normal in the Kingdom of God.


Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, January 23, 2017

Who or What?



“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 14:6  

Is Christianity a "Who" or a "What"?  When missionaries cross an ocean to see Christianity grow in a new place, do they carry accumulated knowledge about what Christianity is or do they carry someone with them?

The difference between Christianity and all other religions is that Christianity is not words about words.  It is the word that became flesh and dwelt among us and now dwells in us.  Christianity is a "Who" not a "What".

When a missionaries make a disciple they take them to the living Jesus not a body of knowledge accumulated over time. They baptize the new believer in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  They baptize them into "Who" not "What".

Never take your eyes off of Jesus.  He is everything the Father has for all of us and He now lives in us.  Take people to Jesus and leave them there.


Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Enough


How much is enough for full human satisfaction? Can a human being be fully content? Should we even seek such a state of satisfaction?
The sum of Jesus' words and His life say such a state of satisfaction does exist. He even said we could experience it in Him.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:11


In Jesus there is enough for full human satisfaction.
Even so, nothing in this world is enough until Jesus is enough first. 


Bud McCord
Abide International

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Simplicity in Jesus



If I could give one precious gift to those I love it would be the gift of simplicity I have found in Jesus.  Simplicity found in Jesus is a gift that would serve them all and last forever.  His simplicity has blessed me more than any other gift.  I know His simplicity deeply blesses.

His simplicity is the gift that calms the heart, lowers the level of fear and gives a vision of the path that lies ahead.  His simplicity makes any place a good place to be.  His simplicity makes me a better person to be around.  His simplicity makes the world a hopeful place.

When Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me" He was saying much more than "Come with Me to heaven."   He was saying "Come with Me back to the essence and simplicity of the Creator."


Following Jesus has set my feet on the path to simplicity.  Neither life nor death is complicated in Jesus.  "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017- A Very Good Year For Love


A Very Good Year For Love
"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your heavenly Father in heaven is perfect."
Matthew 5:48

According to Jesus, being and behaving as our heavenly Father defines a very good year of human life.  Among the many perfect things the Father does every year, the Father "makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust." In other words, He loves and is generous to all mankind in very practical and life sustaining ways.

We would all be wise to understand that the goal of our discipleship is to perfect our love until it matches the Father's generous love.  We are all in this process of being perfected in love and this world is the perfect place for training in love. We are surrounded every day by the just and the unjust. We will not lack for opportunities to love in 2017.

No matter how perfectly or imperfectly you loved this year, the Father will not alter the goal of perfecting your love.  The best thing we can do to prepare for a good year of love is be honest about 2016 and pray for the grace to love better in 2017.  2017 will be a great year to abide in Christ as we remember without HIm we can do nothing.

Love is not optional for us.  We exist to love.  A very good year is measured by the quality of our love. May 2017 be our best year ever for love.

Bud McCord
Abide International