Thursday, July 23, 2015


There is a time and place for crutches in our lives.  When we have been injured  and we need support to begin on the path to recovery there is no shame in using crutches.   Crutches may fit the moment but In most cases they are to be temporary not permanent.

Some people get so used to some kind of daily support that it takes a good friend who comes along and takes away the crutches.  With a word or a action the friend sends a clear message that it is time to walk without the crutches. Good friends don’t let crutches become permanent when they do not need to be.

Jesus called us His friends.  As our friend Jesus will come to us and take away our crutches when the time is right.  He can see that we have become too dependent on the support and sympathy we receive from an injury we have experienced.  Sometimes we have stopped moving toward full recovery because we like the attention we get from our pain.

Professional beggars are seen sitting on the same street corners day after day asking for support.  At the end of the day some of them quietly stand up and make their way to their car which is parked a few blocks away.  They have made their weakness permanent so they can always keep the support of others.  How sad for them!  They truly need an honest friend to come and take away their crutches.

As hard as it may be to perceive, we all have a tendency to elicit sympathy and support from our past injuries and the injustices we have suffered.  We often spend our time on our own street corners wanting people to notice our pain and pay attention to us.

Our good friend Jesus will not let us do this forever.   Sooner or later He will come and take away our crutches.  He loves us too much to leave us on our crutches when He knows we can walk with Him.

Real friends know when crutches need to go or stay.   Ask Jesus if it is time for you to walk with Him without the attention or sympathy of others.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.  John15:15-17

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

From There to Here

How far away from here is the kingdom of heaven or the Kingdom of God?  Is it far away?  Is it so far away it is unknown to us?
Perhaps  three other questions can help us move toward an answer.

Do you have someone you deeply love who has passed away and you believe they are in heaven?   Do you feel they are far away from you as you think of them in heaven?  Has the distance to heaven closed for you since they are there?

Distances change when you know someone who is alive in another place.  It seems they cannot be too far away if you can still sense they are there, they are fine and you, too, could someday go there.

Jesus taught us to pray about the Kingdom as if it could come here.  He makes it sound like the question is not one of geography or distance but one of behavior and cooperation with God.

Read again the Lord’s prayer and notice the idea of there and here.  See if the distance between there and here closes in this prayer.

In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power 
and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9-13

The key to understanding much of Jesus’ teaching is to remember He came from the Kingdom of God where the will of God is always done.  In a very real sense, because of His obedience to the Father while here,  He is the Kingdom coming from there to here. He is the answer to the prayer “You Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

Jesus obeying His Father here as He always had obeyed Him there brought the Kingdom close and closed the distance forever for those who believe.

In a very real sense Jesus is the Way from “There” to “Here” and back again.

“For I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, except through me.”  John 14:6

Jesus with us means the distance has closed between “here” and “there” forever.  The more we cooperate with Jesus, the closer the Kingdom comes to here.

Every obedient Christian is the Kingdom coming here.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Cause and Consequence?

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:1-4

It is perfectly clear in the Scriptures that the Creator is the cause and consequence of everything and everyone.  The Creator is the pure and eternal truth.  We need not concern ourselves with the question of whether there is a cause and a consequence that governs all of us. Cause and  consequence is the reality of every human being that exists.

God sent his only Son to call us all back to the original cause and consequence.  He did not send Jesus to judge us and condemn us.  He sent Him to call us back home to the true light.

The question for disciples of Jesus in these days of ever changing morality and behavior is if we are called and sent to be the cause of change in others lives and the consequence if they do not change.  Should we as Jesus’ followers in the world assume the role of judge and jury?  Should we work  as the cause and the consequence of God in the world?  Should we evaluate and punish in Jesus’ name?

Another way to ask this question is this.  Is there a Christian “jihad”?   Is there a Christian “crusade”?  Are we called to impose our will in God’s name on others?
Are we called to become a punishment?

There does not exist either a legitimate Christian “jihad” our “crusade”.  There is, however, a call to be salt and light.   There is, however, a generosity and revelation that we are called to be in a world that grows darker by the day.

Jesus never became a negative force or consequence in the life of any human being.  The Pharisees wanted Him to be the cause and consequence in the lives of others in God’s name, but he refused.  In the process of refusing to condemn those on the the Pharisee’s list,  Jesus lost their support and gained their hate.

Jesus did not use His power to coerce  change and He did not use his perfect judgment to create consequences.  By His presence He became an invitation to live a new life that would cooperate with the original cause and consequece the Creator is  and will always be.

As disciples of Jesus we are an invitation to repentance which is a rethinking of everything we do and defend.  As disciples we are an invitation to rethink.  We are not a forced change but a call to a new birth where all things are becoming new.

Force and judgment cannot produce this kind of repentance.  Only  goodness, tolerance and patience over time and rooted in God who is the cause and consequence  can lead a human back to the original cause and consequence.

Bud McCord
Abide International