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