Friday, August 17, 2007

The Second Adam and Eve

One of the most interesting names given to Jesus is the title "Second Adam". What Adam publicly did to move us away from God, Jesus, the Second Adam, publicly overcame. As the public respresentatives of humanity Adam #1 and Adam #2 influenced us all. The title "Second Adam" gives the clear message that God has not moved on to a "plan B" in the universe.
God still intends to use human beings as the image bearers of God in the universe. The "plan A" was perfect apart from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There is no mention of a second Eve in the Bible. There is, however, a bride mentioned for the second Adam. That bride is the church and it would seem that what Eve was to the first Adam, the church is to the second Adam. The church being, in a sense, like a second Eve represents a permanent relational future for humanity. The church is going into the future with the second Adam. He is our future.

The first Adam and first Eve did not resist the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They lost their future and ours as well. The second Adam was able to live 100% satisfied in God day by day and moment by moment. He would not accept anything that came from the world, the flesh or the devil as a stimulus for His behavior. His perfect life secured our future forever.

The church, the second Eve, must prepare herself for her future wedding by learning that God is enough moment by moment.
To learn to leave the tree of the knowledge of good and evil alone is Eve's preparation for the wedding and God's future for mankind.

Reading the sermon on the mount gives us a very clear picture of what leaving the tree of the knowledge looks like in the world where the church now lives. In every word of Jesus there is a clear call for his future bride to find God satisfying enough to die to the world and truly live.

Finding satisfaction apart from God as represented by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is deadly to any relationship as the first Adam and Eve proved once and for all. Finding satisfaction in God moment by moment in our world is life to any relationship as the second Adam proved once and for all. Now it is time for the bride of Christ to see that our preparation for eternal relationship with Jesus has already begun. We need to find God satisfying right now. We need to abide in His love as He was abiding in His Father's love.

A One Question Life


Life is complex for most people. They have more questions than they have time to answer. The have more stimulation than they can respond to. Living in this world of confusion about right and wrong and maximum stimulation can leave anyone overwhelmed and weary.

When we look closely at the life of Jesus, we see an absence of complexity. He was a man who lived answering only one question moment by moment. That question was “Father, what is your will for me right now?” He was a man who was stimulated from one source which was His Father’s will.

I recently met a man who has delivered mail on a daily basis for over 20 years. His entire job description is deliver. It is not his job to judge or condemn those who receive. His job is to simply deliver. It is not his job to control those who receive. It is his job to deliver. He looks at an address and delivers. That is his entire place in the complex city where he lives and works. He delivers. Hundreds of people depend on him to deliver.

Jesus delivered, too. He delivered an accurate picture of God. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” He delivered love to his disciples day by day. “As the Father has loved, so I have loved you.”

A branch’s life is to deliver what is in the Vine. What if we suddenly realized that our only job is to deliver? What if we left the other details to God and stop trying to control things we don’t like? What if we simplified each moment by looking at the person standing in front of us and said “Lord, this is the right address, give me exactly the right message of love, compassion, forgiveness or joy and I will deliver it!”

How simple. I exist to deliver the fruit of God’s perfections moment by moment. What a great way to live!

Jesus said we are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”. Sounds like more delivery to me. When we deliver the good things of Jesus who dwells in us, we are the most like Jesus.

Abiding Life Coaches

There are moments in our lives when dreams become reality. When they do they are often surprise us because they happen in ways that are different than we had expected. Our very first Abiding Life Coaches training was just such a pleasant surprise.

Abding Life Coaches training is a 20 hour spiritual retreat designed to equip local church leaders in what we call the "Abiding Dialog". Jesus discipled His first disciples by combining His perfect life with a day by day dialog about the Father's will. Jesus was the focus and the inspiration of the abdiing dialog and their day to day life with Him was the context and subject for the dialog. Abiding Life coaches learn to focus new disciples on Jesus' perfect daily presence as the True Vine until they learn that He still inspires us moment by moment to do the Father's will.

From August 12th-15th in Naples, Florida Pam and I met with 10 discipleship leaders from the International Bible Baptist Church of Miami, Florida for the first ever Abiding Life Coaches Training. In a spacious, rented home these leaders were preparing for an eight week churchwide focus on The Satisfying LIfe of Jesus.

The churchwide focus on the Satisfying Life of Jesus includes an Abide Brazil small group DVD curriculum desgined to initiate the abiding dialog throughout the church family. These leaders came together to begin the dialog which they will lead in the church. Pastor Russell Johnson of the Miami church will preach eight messages focusing on the perfect life and presence fo Jesus so everyone will have the opportunity to join the dailog.

When we focus on the perfect life and presence of Jesus in us, we discover that the inspiration to live the Christian life is in us 24/7 and moment by moment. Truly, he who has Jesus lacks nothing.

Bud and Pam

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Abide Training Center Begins


August 3-5th marks a new phase of the Abide Brazil ministry. We now have our own space in the mountain city of Campos do Jordao where the dialog about the Satisfying LIfe of Jesus can take root in people's lives. The very existence of this special place is a a miracle of God's provision.
When God wants something to come into existence all He needs is willingness and cooperation among His branches here on earth.

A special thanks to all who have believed in this special place. Someday I pray all who gave and all who prayed can come and learn with us here in Brazil.

Friday through Sunday 39 of us spent over 8 hours in study and many more hours in conversation. Though the room is desgined for only 6 or 7 couples, we discovered that Brazilians can make it work for 39!

Good is good.

Bud and Pam