Monday, April 23, 2012

Discipleship and the Scriptures

Discipleship and the Scriptures

Matthew 28: 18-20  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Jesus commanded His first disciples to go and make disciples.  He went on to clearly tell them to make disciples by teaching all new disciples to identify publicly with Jesus' work and presence and to  " observe all things" He commanded.

Go back and read the verses.  Is it clear to you that Jesus and His commandments are the measurement and tools for discipleship?  If it is, think with me for a moment about why we seldom focus only on Jesus and on His commandments in discipleship.

Consider these questions...

            Were you discipled to live from Jesus' presence in you while obeying His very specific commandments?

            In your discipleship were the Scriptures used to help you see Jesus clearly or were the Scriptures used to help you see the Scriptures clearly?

            Were you taught to obey the specific commands of Jesus or to obey equally all the Bíblical commands from Genesis to Revelation?

I am convinced the failure to focus on Jesus' presence in our lives and the obeying of His very specific commandments  are the missing elements in modern discipleship. Let me explain.

In our needed attempts to defend the inspiration of the whole Bible as it has been repeatedly attacked,  we have failed to distinguish what the Bible itself clearly  distinguishes. The Bible distinguishes Jesus Himself and His very specific commandments from everyone and everything else that comes before or after Him. 

The Bible clearly  distinquishes Jesus and His commands because He is the fulfillment of  every Bíblical command. The Bible leads us all to Him and His commands as the final Living Word.  The Bible is the most beautiful book in the universe because it reveals Jesus.

In John chapter 5 there is a striking story of a group of Pharisees (Teachers of the Old Testament Scriptures) who do not believe in Jesus while saying they do believe in the Old Testament Scriptures and obey them completely.   Here is how Jesus confronts their failure to receive His presence and hear His words as a result of their intense but wasted Bible Study.

And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 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.

John 5.37-40

The Bible never asks us to substiture all of its content in the place of all of Jesus or all of His specific commands.  The perfectly inspired Scriptures always direct our full attention to the perfect person of Jesus and His perfect commands which we are to obey joyfully and continously.

If anyone focuses completely on Jesus' presence and obeys His commands, that person will see Jesus in every verse and command in the entire Bible. That person will love the Scriptures because they took Him to Jesus.  That person will be a disciple of Jesus and never a Pharisee.

Bud McCord

Monday, April 16, 2012

Divine GPS

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:9

Think of the Bible as a Divine GPS device that is set to take you straight to Jesus. For a GPS to be useful, it must always know where it is and where it wants to go. The Bible is programmed (inspired by the Holy Spirit) to know from Genesis to Revelation where it is in relation to God and man. God has also set the entire Bible to Jesus which is the one destination where He has decided to meet every man.

 No matter where you are in this world, contact with the Bible is designed by the Spirit to work from your location and take you to Jesus as quickly as possible. In fact, no matter how often you enter the pages of the Bible before or after conversion it is constantly trying to take you to Jesus. To try and get to any other place or do any other thing with the Bible is a waste of time. Too often we misuse the Bible. When we do, we hear the Bible say "Recalculating". This is because we prefer to go our own way instead of going straight to Jesus and His commands!

Once the Scriptures (the Divine GPS) get you to Jesus and to His commandments, the Bible says "Arriving at destination.. Enter, hear Him and obey Him." If you take Bible apart verse by verse as Bible teachers do, you should end up seeing that every verse is programmed with every other verse with Jesus as it's destination.

A GPS is never set to take you to itself. Neither is the Bible designed to take you to the Bible. The Bible is Divinely set to take you to Jesus and His commandments. Let the Bible take you to Jesus. Let the Bible do its job. Trust it to take you to Him! When it does you will find yourself face to face with Jesus and expected to obey His very specific commands.

No matter where you are you can open your Bible and know it will take you to Jesus every time. Bud McCord Abide International

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter or Resurrection?

Easter and The Resurrection   "I am the resurrection and the life..."  Jesus   Easter is an event.  The resurrection is a person.  An event comes and goes.  A person is alive for as long as the quality of their life permits.  The quality of a resurrected life is forever.   When we reduce our celebration of Easter to an event on a calendar instead of celebrating the quality of life that now lives in us, we lose the power of the resurrection.   The resurrection is as powerful today as it was on the day Jesus defeated death and the grave for all of us.   Today is not Easter.  Today is resurrection.  Tomorrow will be resurrection.  Ten thousand years from now will be resurrection.  Because Christ lives in each of us who have believed Him and received Him every moment is resurrection.   The resurrection lives in you.  Rise!