Friday, February 24, 2012

Game On! filled with the Spirit... Ephesians 5:18b

Have you ever tried to play a sport with a ball that is not properly inflated?
Basketball, volleyball, tennis, football and soccer all depend on exact inflation for excellent results.

As you master a sport the proper inflation issue becomes more and more important. The higher your skill level the more sensitive you are to an underinflated ball. It is nearly impossible to put a ball where you want it to go when it is improperly inflated.

Your ability to accurately deliver love to others depends on inner life filling by the Spirit of Christ. The better you get at delivering love to others, the more sensitive you will become about the internal filling of the Holy Spirit. Proper filling of the Spirit means love goes where it needs to go.

Perfecting the delivery of God's love is the goal of all discipleship. Putting love exactly where it needs go time after time is the skill of discipleship. This skill depends on the filling of the Holy Spirit.

As our outer life takes the blows that are part of delivering love here in this world, our inner life must be continuously renewed at the level of our spirit where we connect with the presence of Christ moment by moment.

This continuous filling is needed even as the external pressures against love grow in intensity in our outer world. As we get better at delivering God's love, the outer resistance grows as we face greater spiritual resistance.

Loss of proper internal filling will mean the delivery of love becomes heavy and damaging to our mind, emotions and will. Trying to love others without proper internal filling is like playing a demanding sport with an underinflated ball. Every play made with such a ball is hard work, lost energy and less excellence.

Every moment we try to love others without the filling of the Spirit is loving with a heavy, underinflated soul. This makes delivering love inexact, hard and energy draining.

It is no accident that this "be filled" passage in Ephesians is immediately followed by instructions on husbands loving their wives like Christ loved the church. Delivering love in marriage is not easy for anyone with an underinflated inner life! Loving like Jesus is for men and women filled with the Spirit of Christ.

Game on! Be filled!
Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Growing Up In Christ

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4.11-13

"I was raised in Church."

There is a difference between growing up in Church and growing up in Christ. If we ever hope to truly be the Church we would be wise to understand the difference.

To grow up in Church is to learn the art and importance of Christian community. To grow up in Christ is to learn the art and importance of communion with Christ within.

To grow up in Church is to learn the rythm of services and calendars. To grow up in Christ means to learn the rythm of love and eternity.

To grow up in Church creates memories that last a lifetime but begin to fade. To grow up in Christ creates actions that last for eternity and never fade.

We would be wise to grow up in Church. We would be wiser to grow up in Christ so we can truly be the Church worth growing up in.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, February 06, 2012

A Mary or Martha Day?

The two most famous sisters in the New Testament are Mary and Martha. The presence of Jesus in their home and their different responses to His presence made them memorable.

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10: 38-42

Mary comes across as the sister who got it right and Martha as the sister who got it wrong. Sounds like many families we all know!

The issue is not who is right or wrong. The issue is the presence of Jesus and how to properly respond to Him. Jesus is that "good part" that must be chosen. The lesson intended is not judgement of one person over another but the choosing of the one necessary thing--Jesus' presence.

Mary and Martha are a picture of each of us. At times we are Mary. At times we are Martha. Since Jesus had made His home in us, we must deal with our own personal responses to Jesus each and every day.

Mary set her speed to Jesus' speed. Mary set her inner life to Jesus' peace and calm.

Martha set her speed to the need. Martha set her inner life to her own need to please and control.

I see myself in both of these women each and every day. Will today be a Mary or Martha day for me?

Bud McCord

Abide International