Monday, December 19, 2011

Pure Goodness

Pure Goodness

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Bad cannot produce good. It takes pure goodness to produce true good.

Just ask yourself if your heart is good or bad. Be honest. Unless you have truly understood that Christ lives in you right now and He is the source of all pure goodness, it is hard to say "My heart is good!". You need to believe you have a treasure in your heart to seek pure goodness there.

As a believer in Jesus you have the source of pure goodness in you right now. Good intentions live in you. Good words live in you. Good ideas live in you. Good courage lives in you. Your job is to stay in touch with this pure goodness and bring it out into the light to bless others.

Try saying this..."I am forever united in my spirit (heart) with the pure goodness of Jesus." Now from this good place ask for the specific kind of goodness you would like to "bring forth." It is there. Your job is to receive it and release it.

When we say we cannot be good, we may be telling a truth. We may be admitting that nothing good lives in our flesh. That is a truth. Even so, the greater truth for a believer is that we no longer live in the flesh. We now live in connection with Christ who is pure goodness. The greater truth is pure goodness lives in connection with our spirit.

Christmas is about pure goodness being born into the world. Don't forget that that same pure goodness now is born in you! Draw from this good treasure and be good.

Merry Christmas!

Bud McCord
Abide International

P.S. I wrote this devotional thinking about our daughter Rachel who has a wonderful website about really good food. Check it out! Only good food can bring out the best in you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phillipians 2:5-11

Jesus perfected His love not His reputation. What an unlikely strategy when compared with the wisdom of this world.

Jesus' commitment to love was the living manifestation of His depth of commitment to His Father. Reputation would be left in the hands of His Father. Love would be Jesus' singular focus.

Reputation protection and the perfection of love are never comfortable traveling companions. As we move through life we will be forced to go with one or the other. At times they can seem to be united but there is always a time when perfected love will need to abandon reputation so love remains preeminent.

The description of Jesus in Phillipians 2 is a call for each of us to see the perfecting or our love as more important than the protecting of our reputation. When our reputation is at stake we often panic because we have invested so much in the building of our reputation. When we have been working on perfecting our love we can let go of our reputation because we trust the Father with our reputation.

We remember and revere Jesus because He perfected His love for us instead of protecting His reputation.

Be remembered for the quality of your love. Let love be your reputation.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Speed of God's Compassion

"Pain suffered while we are alone is very different than pain suffered near someone else." Henri Nouwen

Most of us consider ourselves fairly compassionate people. We weep when we watch really sad films. We get very indignant when we see someone abuse another. We may even pray fervently for those who suffer. Even so, do these things qualify as compassion?

The meaning of the word compassion is to "suffer with". That means to do much more than be moved emotionally to a state of caring. I believe it means to actually stay with the sufferer for a God appointed period of time.

There is no way to stay with a person who suffers without suffering with the sufferer. There is no way to stay with a sufferer without reducing our speed to their speed for a time.

Perhaps that is why we want to get away quickly from the suffering of another. Suffering spreads by contact and suffering alters travel plans. Compassion is risky and time consuming. All true love is.

As a minister for over 35 years I have noticed that I wanted to help people get past their suffering as quickly as possible. Slow recoveries seemed to me to be a sign of my pastoral incompetence and a lack of faith on the part of all involved.

Good counseling in my mind was fast counseling. I was too busy for someone's stubborn pain to slow down my plans to help so many. I lacked the speed of God's compassion.

I don't believe God wanted me to stay at the hospital for hours at a time with every person. I think He wanted me to stay as long as He needed me to reveal His compassion to a particular sufferer. I seldom remember asking how long He wanted me to stay. I guess I assumed He was in a hurry since I was in a hurry to go after all the other pain.

Fast cures certainly sound very appealing to us unless we are the person whose pain is stubborn. Perhaps the desire for fast cures explains why modern healing meetings draw such huge crowds. Compassion and fast don't match. Massive healing meetings many times reveal more frustration with stubborn pain than compassion for sufferers.

Compassion is being willing to stay as long as God would have us stay with a sufferer while going at their speed so they won't go alone.

Some of my friends who are ministers live at only one ministerial speed--fast. The faster they go, the more famous they become. They are incredibly dynamic and gifted. There is only one problem with great speed in the life of a minister and that is the fact that our calling includes showing God's compassion not just God's speed and direction as we see it.

God's compassion has its own speed. Are we willing to let God make us His campassion? I am learning to ask Him if He approves of my speed. Amazingly, I have time for everything that truly matters at His speed.

(For a Biblical example of The Speed of God's Compassion read the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.)

Bud McCord
Abide International