Tuesday, June 30, 2015

With Or Without Support





Jesus prepared his first followers to succeed in their mission in the world without political, cultural, moral or military support.  They did.

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” Jesus

Every word Jesus spoke and every day He lived led His disciples to the conclusion that His life could be lived and His commandments obeyed even in the face of open cultural hostility.  The needed support for such a  quality of Christan life would come from within where the continuous support of the Trinity remains constant in a person of faith.  The first disciples knew that those willing to cooperate fully with Christ formed in them would have all the daily support they needed to carry Jesus’ presence forward with power in the world.

For Christians now living in western civilization which was heavily influenced by Christian thought, morality, culture and even military might are experiencing an enormous adjustment to a new reality that is quickly forming around them. External support for anything Christian is diminishing across the west.  In other parts of the world this external support has never existed or ceased to exist over time.  The time for the normal Christian life of inner rest, food, water, happiness found in Jesus abiding within is for such a time as this in the west.

“Without Me you can do nothing.”  Jesus

A generation of western believers is being spiritually born into an environment where they will need to hear Jesus’ teaching in a fresh, new way. They are our children and grandchildren.  They will need to personally hear Jesus’  voice again about the normal Christian way to live in a time and a place where they will come to expect no external support for success in their endeavor to see, hear, love and live Jesus one day at a time. 

These new believers and even older cultural Chrstians will need to experience being empowered from within by the Spirit of Christ and nurtured to full spiritual formation in Jesus by communities of believers who know how to abide in Christ alone. Old formulas based on a mix of cultural support and accumulated Bible knowledge will not weather the storm that is to come.  In these days we will be driven within to live in Jesus moment by moment to find the strength to move forward unafraid and living out Jesus through the storm one day at a time.

For those of us who have lived our faith with cultural support of all kinds, our frustration and tears of loss will need to be very brief.  Those being born again right now still need us to form communities of faith, hope and love that manifest true Christianity’s ability to adapt to want or plenty, support or no support.  With or without external support from the culture that surrounds us,  Jesus’ mission will  powerfully move on and on in abiding believers. Nothing on earth can or will stop the fruit of such an inner supported life received from Jesus one day at a time.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Paul. Apostle and Martyr

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Door




Not all thoughts and paradigms that come knocking on the door of our inner life deserve to come inside.  What some thoughts and paradigms carry within do not mix with the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that now lives in us.


According to Jesus the Trinity has taken up residence in the inner life of every believer.  This perfect presence within must be valued above all other thoughts and paradigms that might want to find a place to abide.  Whatever does not match the Divine presence must never be allowed to move in with us.


We cannot avoid the thoughts and paradigms that come knocking on the door of our inner life, but we can deny them entry and housing.  We are responsible to determine if a thought or a paradigm harmonizes with the Life that now dwells within us. Whatever does not match with who we now are in Christ cannot stay.


Yes, it is true we are in the world and all kinds of thought and paradigms can come to the door of our inner life and knock.  Even so, we do not have to let the world in.


We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  II Cor. 10:5.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Way-LIght




“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

A simple walk through one’s own home can turn into a painful experience when the lights go out.  What should be easy movement through our pleasant surroundings can suddenly become intense pain to numerous parts of our body that are very sensistive to pain. The human toes come to mind!

Anyone who has awakened in the dark and has tried to move through a room trying not to awaken someone we love has felt the explosion of pain of stubbing one’s toes while walking in the dark can create.  It  seems that darkness and pain make pain even more painful and impossible to ignore.

Nothing can substitute for light.  We were made to move with light’s continuous help.  Those who have no light to help them maneuver through their own familiar surrondings can certainly adapt and live, but light still remains the friend we all need to move through life with grace.

When Jesus says He is the light of the world, He sets Himself apart as the friend and ally of every single human being on the planet.  He is telling us He is essential to our successful movement on earth.  He knows we often awaken in darkness so He is cotininously with us to light the way.

No matter the depth of darkness that we may awaken to  in this world, Jesus is already awake and lighting the way.  When we try to walk without Him we will most certainly become acquainted with sudden, intence explosions of pain which will also awaken all those we love and involve them in our pain.

To walk in the light is to let others around us rest.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Confusion



For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.                    I Cor. 14:33.


Confusion drains life and energy from love.  An unfocused, confused mind exhausts good intentions.  Just these two thoughts about confusion make it clear that God is not their author.

If not God, then who is the author?  Sometimes me.  Sometimes you.  Sometimes us.  Sometimes the Evil one.  Whoever it is, they must be resisted and we must submit ourselves and our confusion to God.

How much of life, love and good intentions are lost each day while we are confused?  How many people go unloved because we are confused.
Oh Jesus, deliver me from confusion and bring to me your light!.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Noise or Voice?




“My personal world is noisier than it has ever been.” 

Is this statement true of your personal world?   Have you lived long enough in this world to perceive an increase in noise?  This statement is true in my world.

If we define noise as anything that gets our attention and forces us to consider what it means for us, then the world is noisier than it has ever been for all of us.  More attempts are made to get us to pay attention to messages and thoughts today than at any time in human history.  Noise is everywhere.

To survive and flourish in a world where noise is everywhere and becoming impossible to ignore, we will need to define and discipline our listening.  We will need to choose what noise deserves our attention.  We cannot simply listen to all the noise and stay sane.

To define and discipline the noise in your world, choose which voice is the defining voice in your life.  Choose carefully.  Make sure this voice gets your attention at any time and in any situation.  Put this voice on your list as your favorite voice.  If you are a disciple of Jesus this voice should be His voice.

Next, make a list of the voices of those who genuinely have your best interest at heart.  Add them to your favorites list.  When they call, listen to their voice.  This list may not be long, but it can grow over time.

When the voices of those who have your best interest are in order in your life, give them your attention.  Do not make them compete with this noisy world to speak to you.  Give them access to you.

Be careful who you add to your favorites list and block all enemies of the way to authentic life and love. 

The world may be noisier than ever but we can still define and discipline our listening by only accepting voices of those who have our best interest at heart.


Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Circumference of Love




The chief aim of discipleship is the perfecting of our love for God and others. Discipleship expands the circumference of our love.

All of us have a circumference problem when it comes to love.  All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’s circumference of love. (Romans 3:23) We all reach the limit of our love and love stops.

When we listen to the Sermon on the Mount for the first time, we get an idea of a kind love that is far beyond the current circumference of our love.  To be anywhere near Jesus is to feel just how far beyond our love Jesus extends his love.  To follow Him over time is to be taken little by little to a new circumference of love.

When Christ is formed in us His perfect love within us pushes against the outer limits of our love.  This inner stretching of the circumference of our love hurts us like growing hurts the body of a child who is headed for full maturity. This inner stretching of our love feels like carrying a cross.

Just when we think the circumference of our love is where it should be, God brings even more difficult people into our life.  We are tempted to say, “Stop! Isn’t loving like this far enough?”

With Christ within us, the stretching continues until the racists become missionaries, the bigots become servants, the haters become lovers and the fearful become forgivers. This expanding of love is the miracle of Jesus’ presence in us.  All who were once afraid and unwilling to love become unwilling and afraid to stop growing in Jesus’ love.  They would rather die than stop loving.  Finally, we are like Jesus.

When the circumference of our love becomes one with Jesus then we discover a new reality.  There is no circumference to love with Jesus.  This continuous growth in love is our permanent destiny just as it has been His permanent reality.


Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Life’s Classroom




“O God, you teach us the way through Christ and Catastrophe.”   E. Stanley Jones

Our day to day experience in this world is “Life’s  classroom” where we discover the way and not the way.  Every moment of every day is an opportunity to see what cooperates with God’s original plan for mankind and what does not. 

If we will open our eyes to God as we move through every day we will see clearly what produces life and love and what produces fear and death.  We will see that our decisions and behaviors have predictable results.  None of us can say we saw nothing of the true way.  The way is written into our DNA by God and we are all enrolled at birth in class 101-The way and not the way.

To be absolutely sure we can see the way and what is not the way, God sent Jesus who is the way made flesh and dwelling among us.  To see Jesus is to see God’s original intention for human life and love.  Jesus was not and never will be the cause of human catastrophe, He is and will ever be the way out of human catastrophe.

When Jesus makes a permanent connection by His Spirit with any human being “Life’s Classroom” moves into our inner life where Jesus begins to live and teach by His Spirit.  This inner teaching about the way becomes much more intense and personal.  We begin to see catastrophes and their impact more clearly and the pain we feel seeing so clearly would overwhelm us if it were not for Jesus revealing to us moment by moment God’s forgiveness and love.

It is within our inner life with Jesus that our love is being perfected.  It is within our inner life with Jesus that the Way  becomes our Way  It is in our inner life that Jesus is the true teacher.

Jesus does not take us out of the catastrophes.  He takes the catastrophes out of us.

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful."  Col. 3:15

"These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him."  I John 2:26-27


Bud McCord
Abide International