Tuesday, December 17, 2013

OUR FATHER--- Squeeze!


One of my wife’s dearest friends is in the process of seeing her dear mom leave this world.  Pam also said goodbye to her mom this year.  Pam sent her friend these words of encouragment and comfort about OUR FATHER.

“As OUR FATHER gathers your mom to her true home, I am 100% confident that He will give you the comfort and strength that you will need,
And your needs will clock in at one moment at a time, only.

The entire essence of our  EverlastingTrue Vine will pass
into the receptive branch of your life, one moment at a time.  That is the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ. You will be amazed at the comfort
and thoughts He will whisper into your mind, heart, emotions. Yes, there is pain. But there is equal comfort from Him. Hang on to His hand
tightly and do not let go not even for a moment.

I remember my dad telling me to SQUEEZE his finger as hard as the pain hurt.  I was just 5 years old, sitting in his lap at the dentist, having
a tooth pulled. He told me I could never hurt him no matter how hard I squeezed. I am sure our Lord inspired him to tell me that. I was so
scared, but my dad was holding me and I could hold his finger and SQUEEZE!!!

Hold onto Jesus' finger and SQUEEZE however hard it may hurt, my friend.”

God does not offer us answers to all of our questions during times of pain, but He does invite us all to “SQUEEZE” and be comforted.

Monday, December 09, 2013

A Good Father

No good father will ever raise his children to live as permanent victims of the evil behavior of others. A good father will teach his children to rise above evil and live free of all barriers and injustice suffered at the hands of evil men and women.

Politicians and people who want to manipulate us to support them permanently will always want us to see ourselves as permanent victims of permanent evil so we will vote for them to keep them in power to permanently protect us. It is to their advantage that we remain victims under their control and protection.  True freedom is not in their vocabulary.
A good father will always tell his children to flee from those who only want to feed from their pain and gain control over their future.
A good father will weep over the injustice but he will never leave his child living the life of a victim.

God, our perfect and permanent Father in heaven, would never want any of his children to live as victims of their past or live in the hope of human protection instead of His protection.  God frees all of His children to be free indeed.

To all who have been victimized and suffered injustice at the hands of men Jesus says: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32  Victimization is real but freedom given by the Father in Jesus is our permanent state.

For a Christian to live as a victim is to deny the kind of Father we truly have and reject the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus suffered at the hands of evil men but He never saw himself as a victim.

Disciples of Jesus make no victims and never live as victims.  Doing this they are like Jesus.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Neither Toil Nor Spin

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”  Matthew 6:28-30

The way to human beauty is not through toil or spin.  The way is through rest and receiving the beauty the Father sends for us.

The human pursuit of the beautiful life is written into our DNA.  We know that humans should be the most beautiful of all of God’s creation.  So, we toil and spin until we are weary and exhausted.  In our pursuit of beauty we literally wear ourselves down to the place that we can do nothing but quit in defeat and dizziness.

It is in this moment called quitting that the very first light of God’s original plan can take root in us.  We finally see we were not originally created to toil and spin for beauty.  We were created to rest and receive beauty from the Father.  

We were created to believe God will send that which can and will make us beautiful. if we will simply believe and receive by grace the beauty the Creator has sent for us the toil and spin can stop.  The human beauty God sent for us all is Jesus.

Jesus said in John 6 that the work God wants from us is  to believe in Him.

Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”  John 6:28-29

The world in which we live is filled with toil and spin.  It is through this toil and spin process that we are left weary and heavy laden.  It is though the toil and spin that we finally hear Jesus saying  “Come to Me and I will give you rest.”

Tired of toil and spin?  Isn’t it time to rest and receive the beauty God sent in Jesus?


Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When Our Heart Speaks

"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." Luke 6:45

We spend our entire lives without personally seeing inside our own physical heart.  We know our heart is there and it is critical to our survival but we have a hard time knowing how our physical heart really is doing.  Our heart, however, has a way of letting us know when it is really sick.  Usually the message the sick heart sends stops our world and makes us pay attention to our heart.

Most people also know they have a spiritual heart, but they do not know how it tells them when it is sick.  They do not know the spiritual heart speaks.

To know the condition of our spiritual heart, we simply have to listen to what comes out of our mouth.  If evil comes out of our mouth we know our inner, hidden spiritual heart is very sick.  If good comes out of our mouth we know our spiritual heart is filled with God’s love.

Evil is anything that I think, feel or do that gives me permission to stop loving others.  When I hear words coming from my mouth that give me permission to hate, ignore, condemn or criticize others, I can know my spiritual heart is having a heart attack.

When our physical heart speaks through weakness, pain or a heart attack,  we must stop and pay complete attention because our life is at stake.  When something evil comes out of our mouths we must stop and pay complete attention because love is at stake.

Learn to listen to the voice of your body to know your physical heart and live.
Learn to listen to the words of your mouth to know your spiritual heart and love

Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Like the Dew..."

 “Like the dew…”

God says, "I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily." Hosea 14:5 

”Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.” Luke 12:27

It is amazing how gentle God is willing to be in our lives!  Meditate on how the Lord wants to gently  influence you on a daily basis.  Think of the kind of power one must have to be so gentle!

As you try to influence other people are you able to be as gentle as the “dew” and simply believe your continous and daily kindness and gentleness will make the difference?  Are you so convinced of the power of love that you do not need to force yourself into view to influence?

The next time you are tempted to say  “Where is God?”, be sure to check for the gentleness of God which is like the dew.


Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, October 14, 2013

Surprising Love

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 
John 13:3-5  

We often think that being a disciple of Jesus is a call to do things that are big and important in the eyes of others.  We think people need to see really big and important things if they are believe in God’s love.

In reality to be a disciple of Jesus is to be as He is in us day by day and moment by moment. Jesus never looked for the big and important things to do. Jesus looked for ways to surprise people with the reach God’s love.

Jesus looked for people around Him who needed love and He touched them.  Jesus noticed people with dirty feet because that is where the love of God needed to touch and bring cleansing, surprising love.  To wash people’s feet is to surprise them with the reach of God’s love.

As disciples we are called to do more than imitate the life of Jesus.  We are called to surprise people with Jesus’ continuing presence in the world in us and through us.  We are to be His hands on dirty feet not just our hands on dirty feet.

 Have you surprised anyone lately with the touch of Jesus hands?  If not, you may be simply imitating Jesus instead of living Jesus.

Surprise someone with the love of Jesus that abides in you today.  Look down for dirty feet not up for power.


Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Love is Forever

The most abundant resource in the universe is pure, Divine love.  There is no shortage of love in the universe and there never will be a shortage.  God is forever and God is forever love.  Love does not have to win, it has never lost and never will.

At any moment when we as humans love as God would have us love, we are cooperating with the eternal.  No act of love goes unnoticed by God and no act of love is ever forgotten by God.  Love is forever.

“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

To believe in Jesus is experience firsthand our eternal, personal connection to God’s forever love.  To be loved by Jesus more and more deeply is to be drawn deeper and deeper into eternal life and love.

Anyone who is deeply loved by Jesus will also begin to love others more deeply. Being continuously loved by Jesus draws us little by little into the conviction that love that originates in God through Christ is the source of eternal life and this love must be shared with others. Disciples know that they exist to love.

The perfecting of our love in Christ becomes the goal of all true discipleship because discipleship is not just preparation for today, Discipleship is preparation to love forever.

Bud McCord
Abide Internationa

Saturday, September 07, 2013


The sensation we feel when we discover we have put our faith in an illusion is deeply disturbing and life changing.  Anyone who passes through a disillusion can become a cynic and completely incapable of exercising faith except with a long list of guarantees attached.

Focusing on Jesus will not produce a disillusion.  Jesus said “Whoever sees me sees the Father.”  With this simple statement Jesus was either telling the pure truth or lying in order to create a horrible illusion.  With these words Jesus invites humanity to look to Him to see God.  He guarantees His claim with His life.

Focusing on Jesus moment by moment will never leave a human disillusioned.  Jesus is God made visible and available for us and among us.  Jesus does not offer a list of guarantees.  He is the guarantee.  He is not an illusion.

Jesus invites especially the disillusioned to believe again.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Be Good At Love

If you want to be good at anything, be good at love.  Love is the only human endeavor that lasts.  We were made to be good at love.

Success may look like control of circumstances, but love is success.  Jesus dying on the cross was not an attempt to control His unpleasant circumstances created by the Romans and the religious leaders of His day.  His death was a demonstration of the love He came to deliver.

Success may look like accumulation of money or power, but love is success.  Jesus died penniless and nude on a cross.  Even so, there was never a moment in human history where love was more clearly visible in a human life.  His lack of money or human power was overshadowed by His love. He died powerfully clothed in love.

Success may look like living a long life and retiring well, but love is success.  Jesus did not live long and His plan for retirement here was non-existent, His “early” death was perfectly timed love.

If you want to be good at anything, be good at love.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Love Does

There is nothing more life improving than being deeply and truly loved by someone who sees what God has in mind for us.  There is nothing that makes people better people than someone loving them back into God’s beauty.
That is what love does.

The Apostle Paul tells husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.  He tells husbands that Christ loved the church so “He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”  Love takes away the “spots”, “wrinkles” or “any such thing”  that life in this troubled world leaves on our souls.

That is what love does.

So, when I say to my wife “I love you.”, I am saying I will give her the best of me so I can one day I see the kind of beauty God intends for her . I will love her for a lifetime to remove from her mind, emotions and will the “spots” and “wrinkles” or “any such thing” that distracts from her God desired beauty.  I will love her in such a way that “spots”,  “wrinkles” or “any such thing” disappear because of my love.
That is what love does.

Love restores original beauty over time.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, August 05, 2013

The Presence of Christ

“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 8:58

The Presence of Christ was "in the Beginning"

The Presence of Christ was "in the Garden of Eden"

The Presence of Christ was "in the world since the fall".

The Presence of Christ was “with God’s people In Egypt”.
The Presence of Christ was “with Israel in the Desert”.

The Presence of Christ was “with Israel throughout its history”.
The Presence of Christ “became flesh and dwelt among us”.

The Presence of Christ by the Spirit “filled the church at Pentecost”.

The Presence of Christ “abides in every believer”.

The Presence of Christ “is in me and sends me into the world to love for God's glory”.

Every good thing that has every happened to mankind is from His Presence.

Abide in His Presence right now!
Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blessed to Bless

Blessed to Bless

“Then God blessed them…”
Genesis 1:28

The history of humanity begins with God blessing mankind.  It is impossible for humans to be what they were intended to be without God’s blessing.  That which comes before must bless that which comes after.

To know that we are blessed by God makes our souls rest and want to bless others.  Only God’s blessing can free us enough from our fear to truly be a blessing to others.

God blessed so they would bless.  Mankind exists to bless. Isn’t blessing others that for which we were truly made?

Jesus came to restore the blessing of God over all mankind.  To be restored humanity we must receive Jesus as God’s new blessing.  The New Testament could easily begin with “Then God blessed them again.”

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus describes what His blessing brings to us.

The Kingdom becomes ours.
We are comforted in our pain.
We are promised the earth as our inheritance.
We find our hunger for justice satisfied in God.
We find mercy in abundance to free give mercy.
We see God now.
We are called the Sons of God
The Kingdom is ours.
We will receive reward in heaven.
We become the salt of the earth.
We become the light of the world.

(See Matthew 5:1-16)

We are the blessed again ones who exist to bless again in Jesus Christ.  It is our continuous connection to Jesus that keeps us forever blessed in order to bless forever.

To abide in Christ is to live as one of the blessed.  Right now say “I am blessed again in Jesus to bless again!”  Now, go and bless again the people who make up your world this day.

“Then God blessed them….”   “Then God blessed them again”.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

When Cain Kills Abel

Everyone knows that Cain killed Abel.  Even so, have you ever considered why Cain killed Abel?

Cain’s anger was rooted in his failure to establish once and for all what God  expects of human beings.  To establish for all humans what God expects of them Cain had made his best offer to God.  Abel had made his offer as well. God accepted Abel’s offering not Cain’s.

When God affirmed Abel’s offering Cain was furious.  Cain understood establishing once and for all what men think God expects of them is the most powerful force on earth.  Cain did not want to do what God expects, Cain wanted this power over mankind.  Abel just wanted to do what God expected of men. Abel wanted to leave the power up to God.

Leaders who want the power to establish what God expects of all men become violent when they are not the final word.  They will find a way to force their view and their will on every Abel who just wants to do what God expects of us.

Jesus simply did what God expects of mankind.  For doing what God expects of us without seeking power He was persecuted and hated by the Cains of His day..  He told those who follow Him to expect the same reaction from the Cains of their day.

The Cains of the world still kill in the name of what is right for their power.  They may not even use God’s will  as their excuse but in their minds they want to tell God and every Abel how things should be.

God will take care of the Cains of he world.  As costly and dangerous as it may be to only want to do what God expects of us among the Cains of our day, we must be the people who submit to God like Jesus did.

Abel did not lose His life.  He found it.  So do we when we live Jesus.


Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Holding Visible Things Loosely

Every week we hear of a brother or sister in Christ who has been robbed while walking the streets of a Brazilian city.  Robberies are now so common that there is  a common wisdom in Brazil for how to be safely robbed.  The wisdom is  “Do not resist”.  This wisdom will save your life because the standard behavior of the thief is “Kill all who resist so others won’t.”

Jesus told His followers these things about resisting certain kinds of people.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” Matthew 5:38-42

Was Jesus predicting situations like robberies in modern Brazilian cities?  At first glance the “don’t resist” wisdom of Brazil sounds a little like Jesus’ wisdom.  Upon deeper examination one can see that Jesus’ wisdom is not about survival or avoiding pain , it is about holding tightly to love instead of less important things.

Jesus wants His disciples to value love over survival and material things.  He also wants us to hang on tightly to Him and to love and to hold loosely everything else.

The Apostle Paul gave the early Christians this wisdom.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 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 Corin. 4:16-18

As disciples we need to understand that all visible things are in decay and any strategy to hold on to them tightly is not wise in Brazil or anywhere else.  On the other hand, all invisible things rooted in love are permanent and we must hold tightly to them even if it costs us our visible life to do so.  That is called carrying our cross.

So, here is the Jesus wisdom for all times and all places.
Hold the visible very loosely and hold your love (cross) very tightly.

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14:27

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Live Jesus Now and Forever


He had to come as He did (miraculous birth)
to be what He was (perfect).

He had to be what He was (perfect)
to do what He did (redeem).

He had to do what He did (redeem)
That you might have what He is (life).

You must have what He is (life)
        to be what He was (perfect).

Major W. Ian Thomas

The Gospel is 100% Jesus.  It is what He did perfectly for you.  It is what He perfectly gave you.  It is what He is perfectly in you.  All of this He perfectly did and perfectly is so you can live Him perfectly for all eternity.

“Jesus is all and is in all”.  Col. 3:11b   All he did, all He gave and all He wants to do forever through you is in you.  You will spend all of eternity receiving, rejoicing in and releasing as love all He is in you right now.

Since you have Jesus you lack nothing to live the Christian life right now. The entire Christian life is Jesus living in you right now.  All the Father expects of you is to live Jesus and all the Spirit will ever inspire you to do is live Jesus.  Live Jesus now and forever.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Plan For LIfe

If you had to choose between living your own plans and God’s plan in Christ, what would be your choice?  As simple as this question sounds, it is the essence of our daily struggle as disciples of Jesus.

We must become comfortable with God’s plan in Christ.  We must become comfortable with Jesus’ perfect presence in us as being God’s plan for our life.

We have spent so much time cultivating our own plans that we truly find it strange to stop the continual planning process and rest in the singular plan that is “Christ in you the hope of glory.”

If someone were to ask you what your plan for living this day is, what would you say?  Could you honestly say your plan is to live Jesus?

To become comfortable with this kind of living just take it one day at a time.  Start today by living a plan for life that says  “ For to me to live is Christ.”.   Let living Jesus be your plan and then be ready to move at the speed of Christ.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, March 18, 2013


From the beginning of our lives we begin to see the many ways that we are different from other people.  In our perceptions about reality we cannot help but find ourselves feeling unequal to some people.

Some are more beautiful than we see ourselves.  Some run faster and jump farther.  Some are taller and seem  able to draw attention to themselves with ease. No matter how beautiful, how athletic or how tall, no one escapes the sense of inequality.

There is one place, however, where inequality is defeated and must bow to Jesus’ perfect presence .  This place of complete equality is described as being  “in Christ.”   To be “in Christ” is to find the one place in our reality where we can completely lay aside all fear of comparison and inequality.

Being “in Christ” is the true Christian mystery and revelation. If the words “in Christ” were truly understood by every disciple the church would once again find  its most beautiful reality and power.

Every time you see the words “in Christ” read them as “I am in eternal spiritual union with Christ.”  Whoever is in this blessed spiritual condition has found the only equality that really matters.  If we could see each other as “in Christ”, we could literally begin to live the mystery  and revelation of Christ in us which is the hope of God’s glory appearing in all of our lives.  Only through this “in Christ” equality can we demonstrate the true power of being the body of Christ in action as one.

Those who would like to create a type of Christianity that begins with those who have spiritual equality and those who do not have the same equality destroy Christianity at its core.  We would all be wise to see every believer from the moment of their new birth as “in Christ”.  Only then we correctly see them as worthy to be considered spiritually equal to us at the core of their being “in Christ.”

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, March 04, 2013

Good People

"Joe is really good people."

Having someone describe us as "good people" is an old american compliment.   Is it, however, a sign of Christian spirituality to be called "good people"?  Does Jesus in us as our source of spirituality produce a type of human being others would call "good people"?

Sometimes we create a vision of spirituality that measures activities linked to our church calendar, our private devotional time or our evangelistic proficiency.  Unfortunately being simply "good people" doesn't seem to describe much of our spirituality.

If we take a close look at Jesus' spirituality it becomes abundantly clear that He was "good people."  The impression He left wherever He walked was that pure goodness had arrived in human form.  When Jesus says "He who sees Me sees the Father", He was not speaking of His perfect attendance at the synagogue, His private devotional time or His evangelization of people.  He was speaking of the goodness of the Father that was continuously inspiring His goodness day by day.

The spirituality of Jesus was born in the presence of the Father that was abiding in Him moment by moment.  Jesus was "good people" because of the goodness of the Father that was living in Him.  Jesus' visible goodness 24/7 proved that God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

Jesus in us is the source of all of our goodness.  Jesus in us is what makes us "good people".  Jesus in a disciple will always inspire the disciple to be "good people".

Can you imagine Jesus applauding  the spirituality of one of His followers while knowing that His disciple was not "good people" in His neighborhood?  We would do well to be "good people" all the time and all the time be "good people".  "Jesus was "good people" and is "good people" in you right now
Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Challenge of Genuine Spirituality

Can the spirituality of the early church be ours today?  Yes it can if we accept the challenge of living Jesus' spirituality and not ours. 
The great challenge for genuine spirituality in Christians is to move away from attaining spirituality to receiving spirituality.  We must move away from the current personal spirituality paradigms of believing doctrines or creeds, perfecting our personal thought processes, practicing lists of so called Christian principles or living intense church activity.  We must move to the perfect and perfecting spiritual presence of Jesus who abides in every disciple.  We must move toward Jesus in us as the source of all authentic spirituality.  We must live His already perfected spirituality not develop our own over time.
When we are in the presence  of people, we are impacted by their presence.  In fact, some people's presence will drive us crazy over time!  Jesus' spiritual presence, on the other hand, spiritually heals us and makes us sane for love over time.  Pursuing a Jesus in us spirituality is not a spiritual therapy we master and then walk on our own.  It learning  to live continuously in the presence of Jesus who is the perfectly Spiritual Person.  He goes with us and is in us until His spirituality is our spirituality and His life is our life.  Jesus in us spirituality is learning to abide in Christ.  It is to go to Jesus alone for spirituality and stay there forever.
All who long for a return of a genuine, original Christian spirituality the path to spiritual life will need to move from increasing their own spiritual information or spiritual activity to increasing their awareness of Jesus' spirituality in them and their cooperation with His eternal spiritual life.  
Only when the church's primary  concern for believers is seeing Jesus' spirituality formed in every disciple will we see Christianity expressed in spiritual power as it was in the beginning of the church.
By the Spirit of Christ in us there is enough genuine spirituality  in us to make us perfectly spiritual.   Our job is to receive and release His spirituality.  He gives it and we live it.
Are we up for the challenge to live Jesus' spirituality?  By His Spirit Jesus in us certainly is ready and all we need to do is receive His spirituality moment by moment and release it as fruit.
"For to me to live is Christ."  Phil. 1: 21
"It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me."  Gal. 2:20
Bud McCord
Abide International14

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Temple and The Sanctuary

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
I Corin. 3:16

Temples and Sanctuaries are not unique to Jews and Christians. All the major religions of the world have holy places where disciples gather to know their source, consider the meaning of their life and seek healing. What is unique to Christians is that we are the Temple and in the center of each of us there is the Sanctuary of God.

As a Christian where do you go so God can show you Himself, to find healing and to see your future? Do you go within? Do you know how to find the Sanctuary at the center of the Temple of God you are? Do you know how to enter into and abide in the presence of the God who dwells in you?

Jesus said: ... nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21

Thomas Kelly said: "A practicing Christian must above all be one who practices the perpetual return of the soul into the inner sanctuary."

Major Ian Thomas said: "Relate everything, moment by moment as it arises, to the adequacy of what He is in you, and assume that His adequacy will be operative..."
For much of my Christian life I made my church my Temple and my Bible my Sanctuary. The result of this was a limited intimacy with God and a lack of inner healing.

The Bible never says it is the Sanctuary. The visible church building is certainly no Temple where God now dwells.

Today in the light of the Scriptures and as a part of the visible church I know I am the Temple of God and I know I must enter the inner Sanctuary in me to begin and continue to live in the Spirit of Christ.

This is part of what happens when I quietly enter the Sanctuary in me where I meet the Trinity within.

I enter empty. I leave with abundance. Matthew 5:3
I enter mourning. I leave comforted. Matthew 5:4
I enter releasing control. I leave calm. Matthew 5:5
I enter hungry. I leave satisfied. Matthew 5:6
I enter wanting to be merciful. I leave merciful. Matthew 5:7
I enter with pure intentions. I leave seeing God. Matthew 5:8
I enter wanting peace. I leave as a son of God. Matthew 5:9
I enter persecuted. I leave knowing my future. Matthew 5:10
I enter hated and falsely accused. I leave joyful. Matthew 5:11-12
I enter without meaning. I leave as salt of the world. Matthew 5:13
I enter with a heavy load. I leave as light as light. Matthew 5:14-16

Learning to practice the perpetual return of the soul (mind, emotions and will) into the inner sanctuary is to learn to simply abide in the true Vine. Learning to relate everything moment by moment as it arises to the adequacy of what He is in me is to walk in the Spirit or walk in the light as He is in the light.

Isn't it time you visited the Sanctuary in your spirit and learned to live in the Presence of your God? The Bible tells you where the Sanctuary is and the church should teach you how to enter. Even so, you must enter alone.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Rose Bush

When visiting a vineyard rose bushes carefully planted around the outer edges of the vineyard are a common sight.  Besides being beautiful and adding a colorful touch to the vineyard,  the rose bushes are nature's alarm system for protecting the sensitive branches in the vineyard.

There are diseases and plagues that can weaken or destroy the ecosystem in the vineyard.  When these unwelcome invaders come the signs of disease and death first appear in the rose bushes.  This gives the Vinedresser time to protect the vineyard and save the harvest.

In the life of the church the alarm system is the sudden loss spiritual beauty around the edges of the church.  When a church loses the sensitive and beautiful signs of righteousness, peace and joy, then spiritual disease and death is coming to the entire vineyard.

Along with our desire to have a fruitful vineyard we must also be sure to surround the vineyard with beauty that is sensitive to the coming of sin.

"...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:17

Monday, January 28, 2013

Future Fever

People are willing to do almost anything to have the future they want.  Some will literally stop at nothing to have the future they envision.  This may, at first glance, seem admirable but the cemeteries of the world are filled with those who stood in the way of someone's vision of the future.

Cain and Abel had two different visions of the future.  When Cain's vision of the future was rejected by God, a fever burned inside Cain and he killed he own brother to eliminate the future competition.

The future fever that burned in the heart of Cain was just the beginning. The fever would spread and millions would die.

Some of the more recent mass future fever killings were led by men named Stalin, Hitler and Mao. Their future fever burned so hot  that it led them to murder millions.

Though most are not as evil on the world stage as these future fevered men, we are all tempted to kill relationships to secure the future we envision.  We, too, can catch future fever.

Older men trade the wives of their youth for a younger woman.  Company executives move older employees into early and unwanted retirement to save a few dollars.  Young pregnant women abort tiny babies to continue pursuing lucrative careers.  Friends abandon old friends in order to move in a more popular group. Pastors build churches while abandoning Jesus' followers who get in their way.

While in the grip of future fever we all are tempted to kill whatever impedes our move toward the future we believe we need. Living for a future we feel we must have makes us all dangerous to ourselves, others and the glory of God.

The only man who ever lived completely free from the fever of needing to have and protect a future at other's expense was Jesus.

From eternity Jesus had the future He wanted. He never lost it.  He left his future voluntarilly to die for us.  Rather than kill us to get a future He wanted, He left what He had and died so we could have with Him the future He already had and we really need right now.

At this moment Jesus' future is in us.   He abides in us as our future so we can lay our life down for our friends who need to live His future.

The next time you are about to panic and protect your future in some way that will kill a relationship, remember that Christ in you is your future and nothing can take your future away.  Nothing.

Turn the other cheek.  Go the extra mile.  Don't worry about tomorrow. Forgive 70x7.
Love your enemy.   This kind of living can only happen if our future is not an issue.  This only can happen when we say  "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

May God deliver us personally from the temptation to fight others, leave others or kill others for our future.  May God rid the world of those who fill the cemeteries with the bodies of those who stood in their way and fill the world with friends of Jesus who will lay their life down so their friends can live Jesus' future now.

"Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one's life for his friends." 
John 15:13


Bud McCord
Abide International

Monday, January 21, 2013

Identity Matters

Who I perceive myself to be exercises a powerful control over everything I do.  Identity matters.

Who are you really?  How many different voices and experiences have fashioned your perception of yourself.  Would people be shocked to find out what you honestly think of yourself?

All of us must deal with the question of our identity every day. For some it seems fairly easy.  For others it is a frightening battle they fear they are about to lose.

I fought the identity battle in my childhood and into my adult life.  Looking back I can now see that this was the most critical battle of my life.  I learned that my sense of identity was impacting every relationship and every move I made in life.

My cure began when I accepted Jesus' offer to lose my personal identity and begin a new identity in Him.  I lost my life to find it.  I had to change identity instead of trying to repair my own identity.  This hurt deeply, but the result has been abundant life and a new, stable identity.

It comes as a shock to us that our personal identity is not adequate do let us be what we really know we should be.  We keep hoping we can tweak the identity we have from our life experience and somehow it will all fall into place and we can be the person we know we should be.  This just does not work.

An old Jewish man named Nicodemos came to Jesus to talk about entering the Kingdom of God.  This deeply religious man had done all a human can do to be the man he knew God would have him to be.  Even so, Jesus looked at Him and said  "You must be born again."   In other words, Jesus was saying to him, "You need to lose your old identity and live the new one the Father and I will give to you."  Identity matters.

Once I lost my old identity I began a daily spiritual discipline of repeating a list of my new identity in Christ.  This habit helped me embrace my new identity in Christ.

Perhaps a part of my list will help you enjoy your new idenity in Christ.

As I awaken each day I know that God wants me to see myself as...

  • A Child of God  Romans 8:14-16
  • Crucified with Christ  Romans 6: 6-8
  • Reconciled  Romans 5:10
  • Resurrected  Romans 6: 9-11
  • In Christ  Romans 8:1
  • Free of Condemnation   Romans 8:1
  • Loved John 3:16
  • Secure  Romans 8: 31-39
  • Complete in Christ  Colossians 2:10
  • Forgiven Colossians 1:13-14
  • Saved forever  Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 5:9-10
  • Justified Romans 5:1
  • Sanctified  I Corinthians 6:11
  • New Creation II Corinthians 5:17
  • Redeemed  Galatians 3:13
  • Joint Heir with Christ  Romans 8:17
  • Conqueror  Romans 8:37
  • Justice of God  II Corinthians 5:21
  • Light  Matthew 5:14
  • Salt  Matthew 5:13
  • A Branch of the True Vine John 15:1-8
  • Dead to Sin  Romans 6:11
  • Having the Divine nature  II Peter 1:4
  • Chosen João 15:16
  • One with Christ  John 17:20--21
  • Sealed in Christ  Ephesians 1:13
  • Free  John 8:36

Your new Identity in Christ Matters

Bud McCord
Abide International14

Monday, January 14, 2013


If Jesus suddenly walked into your home one morning and you had two hours to be with Him, what do you think would be the most striking difference between you and Jesus?  What is it about Jesus as a human being that sets Him apart from all other men and women who have ever lived?

The difference was in His inner life. Nothing biological made Jesus different than you or me.  The difference was in His spirit and His soul.

Jesus lived from a source of continuous inner satisfaction with His Father. At the very center of His being Jesus was 100% satisfied in God. This satisfaction allowed Jesus' soul (mind, emotions and will) to be completely at rest and continuously able to release God's love without interruption.

Being in the presence of Jesus for two hours would probably make us all extremely uncomfortable with the state of our own inner life. If not for the continuous love coming from Jesus to us during our two hour meeting we would certainly be overwhelmed by the presence of such a pure human being.

Now expand this two hour encounter to every moment for the rest of eternity.  Jesus has made His home in you. You are His home! If you will let Him love you He will overwhelm you with His love and you will begin to experience the satisfaction He continues to find in His Father. Your inner life will become one with His inner life.

Don't be afraid. Abide in Christ since He already abides in you.

"The difference between Jesus and me is simple. He lived 100% satisfied in God 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. I do not, but I can learn!"


Bud McCord
Abide International14

Monday, January 07, 2013

God's Expectations and Man's Competence

Many years ago I read a book called  "The Peter Principle".   The principle that had been discovered by a researcher was that  good employees will be eventually be offered a promotion beyond their level of competence.

The person who discovered this principle counseled people to know their level of competence and never let the boss promote them beyond it.  If they were promoted beyond their competence then very soon the boss would be wanting to get rid of them due to unfulfilled expectations and incompetence.

In any relationship it is critical to know what the expectations and competences are on both sides.   If the expectations are clear and the competence is there, then there is great hope for satisfaction for all involved.

Now think of expectations and competence on a universal scale.  Jesus among us is God letting us know what he expects of humanity and Jesus is the kind of competent human being with whom God will become one.  Anything short of Jesus is just not acceptable for God.  No Jesus equals no relationship with God.

Jesus is also the kind of human being we must want to become for this relationship to work..  Seeing Jesus' love in action we need to say say clearly that this is the kind of human being we long to be and can become.  Somehow we must believe we can be made as competent as Jesus was as a human being.

So, from the Divine side Jesus is God's expectation and from the human side Jesus is our expectation.  If we cannot become like Jesus the relationship will not work.  If we do not want to be like Jesus and cannot become like Jesus the relationship will not work.

So, Jesus is the key to everything. In Jesus God gets what He  expects and wants and we get what we expect and want.  Jesus makes this a win/win for all involved.

Jesus is the perfection God demands of us and Jesus is the perfection that will make us  competent humans like Him.  Unlike any other relationship that has ever happened before, God met all the expectations in advance for both sides in Jesus and He invites us to come into the relationship through the door of  fulfilled expectations and competence named Jesus.

On a universal scale the Peter principle is completely overcome in Jesus.  God's expectaions are perfectly met and we will become competent human beings like Jesus.

This is very, very, very exciting indeed!

Romans 8:1 "There is, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"

John 1:10-11 "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Bud McCord
Abide International