Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017- A Very Good Year For Love

A Very Good Year For Love
"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your heavenly Father in heaven is perfect."
Matthew 5:48

According to Jesus, being and behaving as our heavenly Father defines a very good year of human life.  Among the many perfect things the Father does every year, the Father "makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust." In other words, He loves and is generous to all mankind in very practical and life sustaining ways.

We would all be wise to understand that the goal of our discipleship is to perfect our love until it matches the Father's generous love.  We are all in this process of being perfected in love and this world is the perfect place for training in love. We are surrounded every day by the just and the unjust. We will not lack for opportunities to love in 2017.

No matter how perfectly or imperfectly you loved this year, the Father will not alter the goal of perfecting your love.  The best thing we can do to prepare for a good year of love is be honest about 2016 and pray for the grace to love better in 2017.  2017 will be a great year to abide in Christ as we remember without HIm we can do nothing.

Love is not optional for us.  We exist to love.  A very good year is measured by the quality of our love. May 2017 be our best year ever for love.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Gift

                                                                                                                                                                                                   For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

True love always inspires intentional, authentic and effective giving of ourselves to others. The one who genuinely loves is willing to give that which best communicates the depth of their willingness to give themselves to their beloved. So, a true giver always includes something of themselves in every gift.

The deeper our love, the more of our true selves we put into the gift we give.

That is why the Father gave us Jesus. In Jesus God is giving all of Himself to us.

That first Christmas the Father packed all of His fullness into Jesus just for us.

When we say we love someone, we are saying "The best I am and the best I have I am willing to give you at the right time, in the right measure and in the right way."  To withhold ourselves from another who needs us is the opposite of love.

Gift giving should always include giving something of ourselves to another.  It should be more than just giving something nice to another.

Seeing Jesus as God giving us Himself makes Christmas take on its true meaning.  Examine Jesus closely this  Christmas and you will see God giving you everything.

When someone asks what you got for Christmas.  Just say, "Everything!".

Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Two Perfections of Jesus

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Living in a world of imperfections and being imperfect persons, it is difficult to believe that perfection exists. Even so, the faith of every Christian is that a perfect person named Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us.  And beyond this incredible perfection of Jesus among us, we, as Christians, believe that Jesus' perfection lives in every believer by the presence of the Spirit of Christ.

These two perfections--Jesus for us and Jesus in us----are the very essence of Christianity. Remove either of these perfections and Christianity ends.

Perfection in Christ has saved us and is saving us forever.  These two perfections make all of us equally acceptable to God and immediately and continuously equal one with another.

Inequality is the most pervasive of all human sicknesses.  Jesus' perfection for us make us all equal in forgiveness.  Jesus' perfection in us makes us equal in essence. It is from our equality in Christ's perfection that the we all are being changed and everything is becoming new.

It took the perfection of Jesus at Calvary to forgive us equally.  It takes the presence of Christ in us to make us essentially equal and on our way to peace with all.  Perfection is here with us now in Christ and it will never be taken away. Celebrate!Bud McCord
Abide International

Friday, December 09, 2016

Falling Short

Brazil is in mourning.  The preventable crash of a chartered jet carrying one of Brazil's soccer teams left the entire nation in shock as 71 people died just short of landing in Columbia for the first game of the South American soccer finals. All the team needed to have landed safely was enough fuel to go a few more miles.

It is not that Brazilians are not used to seeing people die needlessly. Every day the news is filled with deaths that could have been avoided.  What shocked Brazil was seeing this young, talented team of soccer players, coaches and reporters be so close to glory and miss the opportunity due to human error.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:23 "...for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  As humans we just do not have enough personal fuel to get the  goal of God's glory.  Because of human error, we all come short of landing at the goal of being the humans we should have been.  Human error has condemned us all to falling short.

The good news is that Jesus seeing humanity's failure and  falling short created a way for us to make it to the goal of God's glory.  By His terrible suffering at Calvary His death allows us to land in the presence of God and live.  Because of Jesus no person need fall short of becoming the kind of human being God intended. 
Every time a human being lands in the presence of God in Christ, heaven rejoices. 
Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Human Body

                                                                                                                                                                                                           Problem or Opportunity?
When you consider the human body do you see a problem or an opportunity?  When you look at your own body do you see it as exclusively yours to use as you wish or as a part of the plan of God for this world?
In the Bible, in theology and in the example of Jesus the human body is considered essential to spirituality and the plan of God.  The body is not a minor subject in spiritual life.  The body is central to Christian spirituality.
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."  I Cor. 6:19-20
Our body is a permanent documentation of how we have lived and loved.  Our body tells the truth about us for better or for worse.  Every scar we carry registers a story we may or may not want told.
The scars Jesus still carries on His body are the permanent record of His perfect love. 
May our bodies carry proof of our love and our participation in the will of God.
Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Original Hacker

Hackers are in the news.  Powerful people are afraid.

When hackers are in the news it means someone's private life has been invaded and is being put on display for all to see. We can hardly wait to see the powerful embarrassed.  Should that be the case? Will the hackers come for us, too?

Those of us who are old enough to be referred to as BC (Before Computers and Cell Phones) can still remember a time when privacy actually existed. Those times are gone forever. I, for one, miss them.

There is a sense, however, in which human privacy was destroyed long ago in the garden of Eden by the original hacker named Satan.  What the original hacker did to Adam and Eve left them so ashamed of their public nakedness they tried making clothes out of leaves and hide from God. Some plan!

A hacker must penetrate into the operating system of a computer and make that system give up its privacy and deeply held secrets.  A Hacker wants to embarrass and control.  That is what Satan, the original Hacker, did to all of humanity when Adam and Eve took a bite out of the original Apple. (Not sure it was an apple, but it fits the computer/hacker metaphor! Sorry Apple you chose the metaphor first.) 

What a relief it is for the Christian to no longer need to fear the original hacker!  Jesus came to destroy his works and set us free from needing to hide who we are or what we have done.  We even have a 'confess our sins' software installed if we do sin!
In a world where the original Hacker still exists and continues to try to shame us, there is very good news for us...

There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Christians are called to come out of hiding and walk in the light. Jesus defeated the original hacker and He even created a spiritual firewall should the Hacker try to shame us again. 

We may not have privacy in the world, but we can certainly have privacy and peace within our spirit where the original hacker can never enter again.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Having Faith For Someone You Love

 We love Him because He first loveus.
I John 4:19
Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone who believes more in you than you believe in yourself? Has someone seen your future before you saw it and wanted that future for you before you wanted it? If so, you have been deeply loved.

To be deeply loved means someone has had faith for us before we had faith.  Someone else can love us so much that they believe for us until we can believe for ourselves.

We love Jesus because He first loved us.  A part of His love was to have faith for us before we had faith.  He believed we could be forgiven before we even knew we needed to be forgiven.  He believed we could be redeemed before we even knew we needed redeeming.

Anyone who looked into the eyes of Jesus would have seen pure love inspired by perfect faith.  They would have also seen someone looking back offering to share that faith and love.

I believe that one of the thieves that hung on a cross next to Jesus looked into the eyes of Jesus and saw pure faith and love.  When he looked into Jesus’ eyes he received the faith and courage to say, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”  Jesus lovingly responded “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”   Jesus’ faith came before the thief’s faith. Jesus’ faith became the thief’s faith.  The thief was able to ask because Jesus by faith and love had already seen him together with Him in paradise.

Whatever faith we have comes from the faith and love Jesus had concerning us.  Whenever we love someone who has no faith, we offer them our faith before theirs is born in them. In doing this we are one with Jesus’ faith and love.

Faith and love give birth to faith and love.  Jesus not only died for us when we were still His enemies.  He believed for us when we could not believe. Truly faith is a gift from God to us in Christ.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Huge Mistake

I have made some big mistakes in my life and I have had time to correct many of them.  I am so glad God is patient with us all as we live and learn.
One of the biggest mistakes I made as a Christian leader was to fail to point people to a fact about Jesus.  That fact is:  Jesus still personally teaches his disciples by the Holy Spirit.
In fact, Jesus never stopped teaching his disciples.  The truth Jesus is and the truth Jesus continues to teach needs to come to us directly  by the Holy Spirit and not by teachers who put themselves between us and Jesus.  It is always a huge mistake to get between Jesus and one of His disciples.
It took me a long time to hear the words of Jesus and of his disciple John and let them correct my mistake.
John 8:31-32  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
I John 2:24-27  Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Jesus said each of us needs to abide directly in His original words and not in an explanation or translation of His words delivered by a teacher.   Nothing and no one should get between a disciple and Jesus’ person and words. Getting between a disciple and Jesus trying to help them is like getting between a person’s head and their body trying to help them stay alive.
Jesus does not need help from me to say what He has already said.   Jesus would have me take people to hear from Him personally.  I can certainly tell others what I have heard from Him, but disciples must hear Him for themselves or discipleship is not taking place.
It was a great relief for me to be free of trying make Jesus’ teaching clear to people. Over the years I have understood that Jesus’ teaching is not difficult to  understand. It is difficult to hear and live.
 As anyone who has done translating from one language to another will affirm, translation is imperfect and tiring. It is so good to hear directly from someone instead of feeling you need a translator.  Jesus does not need to be translated.  He needs to be heard and obeyed.  Jesus speaks perfectly in every language by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
 Jesus’ teaching is clear to those who will ask Him personally what He means and what He wants. If you do not believe that, then I challenge you to hear His words again. Then ask Him questions about what He means for you to do with what He says.  Be prepared to act.  He still teaches and He speaks your language!

Bud McCord
Abide International

Friday, September 30, 2016

Seeing the Unseen

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 Corinthians 4:18

The first disciples saw Jesus every day.  What they did not realize was that they were also looking at the unseen as they looked at Jesus.  When they looked at Jesus they were seeing the unseen, eternal Father.
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?John 14:8-9

Every day we live we see things that will pass away.  We must learn to look beyond them to see the unseen.  We must see beyond the temporary to see the eternal.  If all we see is the temporary then we will lose heart.  If we see beyond the temporary and see the eternal we will gain strength to go on.

If the first disciples missed seeing the unseen Father when they saw Jesus, what are we missing when we fail to see beyond what we see around us every day?  Learn to look beyond the seen until the unseen is more real to you than the seen.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


The desire for equality is  a noble goal. Perhaps it is the most noble of human dreams. The search for it, however, has led to millions of deaths and great sacrifice. No matter how many deaths and how great the sacrifices, the dream of equality still seems far away.

Whether the path chosen to equality is the non-violent approach of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr or the radical violence of Lenin and Mao, time reveals just how hard equality is to produce or sustain. In all of human history has anyone shown us the way to equality?

In all of human history only Jesus had the courage to call Himself the way to human equality  He was neither an activist nor an armed revolutionary. He was something altogether new. He claimed to be equal with God and and 

He invited humanity to be one with Him and the Father as the basis of equality.  He said all who accept Him are instantly brought into the equality mankind longs to find. Jesus said being in Him would make us equals.

As the Father sent Him into the world to invite humanity into equality , He sends us out into the world sustained by our equality in Him to make the same offer. We have been sent to tell others to be one With the Father, the Son and the Spirit and with all others who are one In Christ.

Jesus continues to be way to human equality. Sadly, we as His followers often fail to live this equality in practical and visible ways. If we could live as equals in our Christian communities surely the world would take note that we have been with Jesus.

Our starting point in Jesus is equality. As long as Jesus lives and we live in Him equality is available and sustainable. Live your equality in Jesus and invite others to experience it with you.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Great Risk of Loving and Being Loved

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.”
― C.S. Lewis

Even a brief time in this world confirms these words.  Experiencing a great love and loving greatly is to also risk great pain.  To experience a great joy is to risk a great loss.

Jesus and those he loved lived this great risk.  Meet Lazarus, Maria and Marta the beloved friends of Jesus.  See how they handled the risk and grief of their great love and joy.

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.  John 11: 1-6

We learn from Jesus and His beloved friends that in the presence of sickness we must stay still, wait and know we have been loved and are still loved.  We must know that the Will of the Father, the Word of the Son and Wind of the Spirit are greater than the weakening of our mortal will, words and wind.  The risk will be rewarded by the ressurrection.

We learn that at the right moment we will be called back from sickness or death to full health by the will, word and wind of God.  Sickness and death do not have the final word over us. The Father’s love in Jesus by the Spirit will call us back to life and love.

The contrast of good and bad that surrounds us is here for now and so is the risk we take when we love or are loved.   In Christ we see that love never dies and will never let us die. So, we risk being loved and loving.  “That’s the deal.”

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Jesus understood the power of His words. We often do not. He also understood that many who heard Him could not understand Him. Listen to how He describes those who could neither hear nor understand Him.

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.” John 8:42-43

Truly hearing the words of another person and understanding their words requires much more than ears that work.  It requires a relational and cultural connection to the one speaking. Communication requires a living history. Only relational and cultural connection allows  words spoken to be heard correctly.

The first part of us that needs to be “born again” is our hearing.  We need to learn like a newborn child learns to hear with understanding.  To abide in the words of Jesus is like learning a new language—the language of God. Jesus is the language of God. It takes time but the rewards of being able to hear and understand in a new language is worth the effort.  It is liberating.

Keep listening to Jesus and you will grow more and more aware of the liberating power of His words.  Disciples of Jesus abide in His words and become more and more aware of what God is saying and doing.  When they do they are see free to join in.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” João 8:31-32

Bud McCord
Abide International

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Good Theology

Is your theology good?  Would a face to face meeting with Jesus concerning your personal theology go well for you? Would your theology pass the Jesus test?

In John chapter 5:38-47 Jesus has a very direct and honest conversation with the Jewish theologians of His day.  The conversation did not go well for the theologians.  They definitely did not pass the Jesus test.  Listen to Jesus’ evaluation of their theology.

“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.

“I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.

How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Notice the three things Jesus said they their theology did not give them.

1.     Life.  They thought they had found eternal life in the Scriptures so they did not need to go any farther to find life.  They especially did not believe they needed to come to Jesus for life.
2.     Love. They sought honor from men above the love of God.  God’s love had no home in them.
3.     Faith.  They knew Moses’ words but they did not believe them.  If they believed them they would have believed Jesus’ words.

In the end it will be Jesus who says whether our theology was good or not.  Jesus defines and approves theology.  Theology does not define or approve Jesus.
Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

A Good Confession

Confession is good for the soul.  It reallly is.  Confession is good for the soul because we must continously be reconciled to the truth in order to live freely and well.  Confession is resetting the soul to the truth.

So, please hear my confession:  I confess that I have been continously helped by God to be what I am and do what I do.  Whatever I am and whatever good I have done came from God’s help in Christ.

I cannot honestly claim I am the source of what I am and what I have done that is good.  I have always had Divine help.

Admitting one has been helped by God in Christ generates thanksgiving and being thankful is the will of God for all of us.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thess. 5:18

We often here people say “If you can dream it, you can do it!”   Really?  Without help? With no one to thank but yourself?

The Apostle Paul dreamed of keeping the law of God.  He tried and failed.  He made a very difficult confession about himself.

“I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”  Romans 8:20-25

Paul confessed he needed Divine help.  “Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Paul gave thanks to the One who helped.  “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

As Christians we all have a confession to make. “To be the kind of person I hope to be, I have always needed God’s help in Christ and I always will.”

Paul confessed this way.  ‘I am what I am by the grace of God.”   Confessing this is good for the soul and it makes thanksgiving come easily.  It is also the truth for all of us.

Reconcile yourself to the fact that you have been helped and will always be helped by God in Christ.  This is good for your soul because the truth will set you free.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Armed With Love

True love is most evident when it faces danger and death for others unarmed. Look for weapons in Jesus' hands. In a very violent world Jesus held no weapon but love. No weapon could have loved us or died for us. Only Jesus lovingly and voluntarily facing danger and death unarmed could.

There will come a time in every believer's life when love will be the only weapon they can carry to save the lives of those they love.  Missionaries have understood this for centuries. Missionaries used to go to the nations to live, love and die unarmed. Most still do.

Depending on where we live in the world we may or may not bear arms legally. No matter where we may live we can always love for against love no law or weapon can permanently succeed.

In these violent days do we really believe in love's power? We will all find out when what we face can only be overcome by love.

"Love never fails." I Cor. 13:8

Bud McCord
Abide International

Thursday, July 07, 2016


Great Britain just voted to exit the European union.  Some are celebrating and some are weeping.  Most of the world is a little confused about what this all  this means.
There are times when an exit means loss and there are times when an exit means gain.   Exits always change things.
Time always reveals what an exit really means.   Over time one will either say “That was a really great decision!”   or  “I wish I could go back!”.  Read the story of Israel in the wilderness and you will see both reactions.  Disagreements over exits are nothing new.
For every believer in Jesus there was a moment when His invitation to follow Him came to us.  We accepted the invitation and exited our old life and entered His new life.  Through Jesus’ initiative, we changed kingdoms.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love…”  Col. 1:13

As you remember your decision to exit with Jesus what do you say today about that deciision?

Bud McCord
Abide International