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