Thursday, October 27, 2016

Having Faith For Someone You Love

 We love Him because He first loveus.
I John 4:19
Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone who believes more in you than you believe in yourself? Has someone seen your future before you saw it and wanted that future for you before you wanted it? If so, you have been deeply loved.

To be deeply loved means someone has had faith for us before we had faith.  Someone else can love us so much that they believe for us until we can believe for ourselves.

We love Jesus because He first loved us.  A part of His love was to have faith for us before we had faith.  He believed we could be forgiven before we even knew we needed to be forgiven.  He believed we could be redeemed before we even knew we needed redeeming.

Anyone who looked into the eyes of Jesus would have seen pure love inspired by perfect faith.  They would have also seen someone looking back offering to share that faith and love.

I believe that one of the thieves that hung on a cross next to Jesus looked into the eyes of Jesus and saw pure faith and love.  When he looked into Jesus’ eyes he received the faith and courage to say, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”  Jesus lovingly responded “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”   Jesus’ faith came before the thief’s faith. Jesus’ faith became the thief’s faith.  The thief was able to ask because Jesus by faith and love had already seen him together with Him in paradise.

Whatever faith we have comes from the faith and love Jesus had concerning us.  Whenever we love someone who has no faith, we offer them our faith before theirs is born in them. In doing this we are one with Jesus’ faith and love.

Faith and love give birth to faith and love.  Jesus not only died for us when we were still His enemies.  He believed for us when we could not believe. Truly faith is a gift from God to us in Christ.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Huge Mistake

I have made some big mistakes in my life and I have had time to correct many of them.  I am so glad God is patient with us all as we live and learn.
One of the biggest mistakes I made as a Christian leader was to fail to point people to a fact about Jesus.  That fact is:  Jesus still personally teaches his disciples by the Holy Spirit.
In fact, Jesus never stopped teaching his disciples.  The truth Jesus is and the truth Jesus continues to teach needs to come to us directly  by the Holy Spirit and not by teachers who put themselves between us and Jesus.  It is always a huge mistake to get between Jesus and one of His disciples.
It took me a long time to hear the words of Jesus and of his disciple John and let them correct my mistake.
John 8:31-32  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
I John 2:24-27  Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
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.
Jesus said each of us needs to abide directly in His original words and not in an explanation or translation of His words delivered by a teacher.   Nothing and no one should get between a disciple and Jesus’ person and words. Getting between a disciple and Jesus trying to help them is like getting between a person’s head and their body trying to help them stay alive.
Jesus does not need help from me to say what He has already said.   Jesus would have me take people to hear from Him personally.  I can certainly tell others what I have heard from Him, but disciples must hear Him for themselves or discipleship is not taking place.
It was a great relief for me to be free of trying make Jesus’ teaching clear to people. Over the years I have understood that Jesus’ teaching is not difficult to  understand. It is difficult to hear and live.
 As anyone who has done translating from one language to another will affirm, translation is imperfect and tiring. It is so good to hear directly from someone instead of feeling you need a translator.  Jesus does not need to be translated.  He needs to be heard and obeyed.  Jesus speaks perfectly in every language by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
 Jesus’ teaching is clear to those who will ask Him personally what He means and what He wants. If you do not believe that, then I challenge you to hear His words again. Then ask Him questions about what He means for you to do with what He says.  Be prepared to act.  He still teaches and He speaks your language!

Bud McCord
Abide International

Friday, September 30, 2016

Seeing the Unseen

While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
II Corinthians 4:18

The first disciples saw Jesus every day.  What they did not realize was that they were also looking at the unseen as they looked at Jesus.  When they looked at Jesus they were seeing the unseen, eternal Father.
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?John 14:8-9

Every day we live we see things that will pass away.  We must learn to look beyond them to see the unseen.  We must see beyond the temporary to see the eternal.  If all we see is the temporary then we will lose heart.  If we see beyond the temporary and see the eternal we will gain strength to go on.

If the first disciples missed seeing the unseen Father when they saw Jesus, what are we missing when we fail to see beyond what we see around us every day?  Learn to look beyond the seen until the unseen is more real to you than the seen.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


The desire for equality is  a noble goal. Perhaps it is the most noble of human dreams. The search for it, however, has led to millions of deaths and great sacrifice. No matter how many deaths and how great the sacrifices, the dream of equality still seems far away.

Whether the path chosen to equality is the non-violent approach of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr or the radical violence of Lenin and Mao, time reveals just how hard equality is to produce or sustain. In all of human history has anyone shown us the way to equality?

In all of human history only Jesus had the courage to call Himself the way to human equality  He was neither an activist nor an armed revolutionary. He was something altogether new. He claimed to be equal with God and and 

He invited humanity to be one with Him and the Father as the basis of equality.  He said all who accept Him are instantly brought into the equality mankind longs to find. Jesus said being in Him would make us equals.

As the Father sent Him into the world to invite humanity into equality , He sends us out into the world sustained by our equality in Him to make the same offer. We have been sent to tell others to be one With the Father, the Son and the Spirit and with all others who are one In Christ.

Jesus continues to be way to human equality. Sadly, we as His followers often fail to live this equality in practical and visible ways. If we could live as equals in our Christian communities surely the world would take note that we have been with Jesus.

Our starting point in Jesus is equality. As long as Jesus lives and we live in Him equality is available and sustainable. Live your equality in Jesus and invite others to experience it with you.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Great Risk of Loving and Being Loved

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.”
― C.S. Lewis

Even a brief time in this world confirms these words.  Experiencing a great love and loving greatly is to also risk great pain.  To experience a great joy is to risk a great loss.

Jesus and those he loved lived this great risk.  Meet Lazarus, Maria and Marta the beloved friends of Jesus.  See how they handled the risk and grief of their great love and joy.

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.  John 11: 1-6

We learn from Jesus and His beloved friends that in the presence of sickness we must stay still, wait and know we have been loved and are still loved.  We must know that the Will of the Father, the Word of the Son and Wind of the Spirit are greater than the weakening of our mortal will, words and wind.  The risk will be rewarded by the ressurrection.

We learn that at the right moment we will be called back from sickness or death to full health by the will, word and wind of God.  Sickness and death do not have the final word over us. The Father’s love in Jesus by the Spirit will call us back to life and love.

The contrast of good and bad that surrounds us is here for now and so is the risk we take when we love or are loved.   In Christ we see that love never dies and will never let us die. So, we risk being loved and loving.  “That’s the deal.”

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Jesus understood the power of His words. We often do not. He also understood that many who heard Him could not understand Him. Listen to how He describes those who could neither hear nor understand Him.

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.” John 8:42-43

Truly hearing the words of another person and understanding their words requires much more than ears that work.  It requires a relational and cultural connection to the one speaking. Communication requires a living history. Only relational and cultural connection allows  words spoken to be heard correctly.

The first part of us that needs to be “born again” is our hearing.  We need to learn like a newborn child learns to hear with understanding.  To abide in the words of Jesus is like learning a new language—the language of God. Jesus is the language of God. It takes time but the rewards of being able to hear and understand in a new language is worth the effort.  It is liberating.

Keep listening to Jesus and you will grow more and more aware of the liberating power of His words.  Disciples of Jesus abide in His words and become more and more aware of what God is saying and doing.  When they do they are see free to join in.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” João 8:31-32

Bud McCord
Abide International

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Good Theology

Is your theology good?  Would a face to face meeting with Jesus concerning your personal theology go well for you? Would your theology pass the Jesus test?

In John chapter 5:38-47 Jesus has a very direct and honest conversation with the Jewish theologians of His day.  The conversation did not go well for the theologians.  They definitely did not pass the Jesus test.  Listen to Jesus’ evaluation of their theology.

“But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

“I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.

How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Notice the three things Jesus said they their theology did not give them.

1.     Life.  They thought they had found eternal life in the Scriptures so they did not need to go any farther to find life.  They especially did not believe they needed to come to Jesus for life.
2.     Love. They sought honor from men above the love of God.  God’s love had no home in them.
3.     Faith.  They knew Moses’ words but they did not believe them.  If they believed them they would have believed Jesus’ words.

In the end it will be Jesus who says whether our theology was good or not.  Jesus defines and approves theology.  Theology does not define or approve Jesus.
Bud McCord
Abide International