Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In The Vineyard with Jesus



Every disciple of Jesus should be discipled as they walk alone through the Father’s vineyard with Jesus.  If Jesus could take each of His followers into the vineyard and tenderly describe the relationship He and the Father have with us and want to develop over time in us, we would rejoice at the chance to be His disciple branches forever.

As hard as it may be to believe, the Holy Spirit , who is the Spirit of Christ, will take every believer on a personal tour of  the Father’s vineyard.  The Holy Spirit is the guide to the Father’s vineyard if we will surrender and go alone. All we must do is ask the Spirit to take us into the Father’s vineyard to see ourselves in Jesus.

In the vineyard with the Spirit we learn that discipleship is an intimate and eternal connection to and cooperation with Jesus, the Vine. This connection, intimacy and cooperation with Jesus is cultivated daily by the Father for the singular purpose of delivering into the world the glorious fruit of Divine intimacy which is love. 

It is in the vineyard with the Spirit that we see ourselves as disciples who receive by grace from Jesus all God wants from us.  It is in the vineyard we learn to rejoice in our complete dependence on Jesus.  It is in the vineyard that we embrace the fact that we exist to release freely the fruit of pure love which comes from our connection to and cooperation with Jesus.

It is in the vineyard that we finally find rest for our souls and a vision of true discipleship. 

For those who long for discipleship that is true and authentic, let the Spirit of Christ take you by the hand and walk you through the Father’s vineyard.  This walk will change you forever.


“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “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.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jesus: See Him



"Christians have made the gospel about so many things . . . things other than Christ.
Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without him, all things lose their value. Without him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space.
It is possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ . . . who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts."
 
Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola - Jesus Manifesto
 

And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Col. 1:17

Is the Jesus described by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola my daily Jesus?

Is the Jesus described  by Paul in the book of Colossians the Jesus I see abidiing in me right now?

Do I see Jesus being before all things?

Do I see the one who died for me and lives in me holding all things together?

Do I really see that my very existence depends on His existence?

Am I really aware that He gives me my value?

Is He really keeping me from becoming  detached pieces floating in space?

What space does such a Person deserve in my mind, emotions and will?  Does He have that space in me?

Being I can ever hope to live Jesus I must first see Him clearly.

May God open my eyes and the eyes of all His children to see Jesus.
 
 
Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Stubborn



I love leaders!  I love people who know where they are going and inspire others to go joyfully with them.  Having declared my love for leaders, I need to lovingly tell my leader friends  “Stubborn is not a spiritual leadership gift.”

Listen again to what the fruit of the Spirit is.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is
love,
joy,
peace,
longsuffering,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness,
self-control.
Against such there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

For too long some leaders have hidden their stubbornness beyond a very thin veneer of spirituality. They have found a way to be stubborn by simply saying to those who follow them  “God gave me this vision.”  

A vision given by God can and must be lived without being stubborn.  If a vision cannot be lived by the fruit of the Spirit, it is not of God.   If the implementation of  a vision requires we force others to follow and use the words “God told me” to gain cooperation, then we are not leading as Jesus lived and led.   

Jesus was not stubborn.  He invited and inspired others to follow Him.  Jesus took on the form of a servant and even washed feet.   

Stubborn may feel good for a time, but it is never a satisfying way to lead.

Truly stubborn leaders end up alone at the top of a pyramid where there is only hot air to keep them company.

 

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jesus and Reality Or Jesus is Reality



"Reality is the conjectured state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still more broad definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist."

One of the most fascinating things about Jesus is how He made Himself the subject of His own teaching.  Unlike all other religious leaders who teach about reality and call people to connect correctly to that reality, Jesus made Himself the reality to which everyone must connect.

If Jesus had simply explained reality like other teachers He never would have generated such hatred toward Himself or such love toward Himself.  By making Himself reality Jesus invites us to live a Person as reality not a system of reality.

True Christianity is not teaching Jesus is reality.  True Christianity is   teaching Jesus is reality and living Him as our reality.  “Without Me you can do nothing…”John 15:5 “For to me to live is Christ.” Phil. 1:21

Listen to the words of Paul in Collossians 1:15-20 and Jesus is reality will be clear.


Collosians 1:15-20
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,  and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Do you live Jesus as reality?

 

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spirituality and Attention



“Whatever gets your attention gets you.” Mike Wells


It takes some time for us to verify if a great saying is actually true.  Just because something sounds true does not mean it will stand the test of time and practice in our lives.

After many years of testing Mike Well’s statement about attention I can confidently say this saying is true and worthy of trust.

Each day I live the challenge to stay focused on the perfection of Jesus instead of dividing my attention with the distractions and distortions of the world that surrounds me.  For me, the question of who gets my attention each day has become the singular question that determines the quality of my daily life and love.

I have come to believe that staying focused on Jesus is the very essence of what some call spiritual warfare.  When I start my day focused on and inspired by Jesus I defeat the power of lack that fills and frustrates the world around me and I begin to deliver the love of Jesus that abides abundantly in me.  Focusing on Jesus in me as my source of life and love keeps me receptive to His perfection and something of His life and love can flow from my life day by day.

Spirituality, attention and love are forever linked.  Anyone who wants to move beyond imitating Jesus sporadically toward living Jesus continuously will need to live with their attention on Jesus moment by moment.  When at war one’s attention must stay on what wins the war.

Jesus wins the war in us and through us moment by moment if we pay attention to Him.  Abide in Jesus!


 


Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, June 16, 2014

ALL



“Christ is all ”
Col. 3:11

Jesus is all there is.  He is the source of all that exists.   He is the power that is all and sustains all.

It pleased the Father that the fullness should abide in Him.  He is where we must look to see all.  He is the one to whom we must listen to hear all. He is the path where we walk with all.

Letting the power of  “all” settle into our mind, emotions and will is the way   to finding personal, inner peace.   When we know that “all” is a Person who loves us we can finally rest. The peace we all seek only comes when we find all.

Jesus wants all of us.  Jesus cannot ask us to come to Him partially.  All must ask all. He asks us to commit to Him as all.  He asks us to eat His flesh and drink His blood because we must be filled and sustained by all He was, is and always will be.

Since He is all there is, there is no way to relate to Him partially. Jesus’ says those who love Him will finally obey Him fully.

He is all. He asks all. He gives all.


 

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Conflict of Wills



Wars are conflicts of wills.  Wars begin when men seek to impose their will on others and wars on earth only end when one side is forced to submit to the will of the other.

Wars are common among men because in Adam we have all eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  This is the tree which inspires and sustains  our conflicts of will and is the root cause of all war.

Jesus taught us to pray  for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.  

 
"Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven."

Matthew 6:9-10

Jesus knew how to stop our war of wills.  He knew we could never stop the war of wills on earth without Him and without embracing the will of His Father.

In heaven there is no conflict of wills.  There is no war in heaven because the family of God in heaven rejects the tree of the knowledge of good and evil with its power to lead into the war of wills.  The entire family of God in heaven feeds continuously on the will of God which is the tree of life.

But He answered and said to the one who told Him,
“Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”
And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said,
“Here are My mother and My brothers!
For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother
and sister and mother.
Matthew 12:48-50

Jesus is the Prince of peace.  Jesus is the kingdom come.  Jesus is the tree of life.    Jesus invites each disciple to abandon the war of wills and live the Kingdom come.
Jesus is peace on earth and good will toward men!  

 

Bud McCord
Abide International