Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Receive Mode

“The just shall live by Faith.”
Romans 1:17

A just person is one  who loves the right person, at the right time, in the right way and in the right measure.  A just person does not simply want to do this.  A just person does this continuously.

Anyone who attempts to be just will soon learn that loving the right person, at the right time, in the right way and in the right measure is beyond human ability. 
People, including ourselves, are very complex to love justly over time.

The source of justice is God.  Only an intimate connection to and receptivity from perfect justice can make one just.  This connection and receptivity for justice has been made available to us by faith in Jesus who is God’s justice for us and in us forever.  Simply put, Jesus in us must be our continous justice.

The secret of a just life is not effort.  It is receptivity or “receive mode”.  Our ability to be just is directly connected to our growing awareness that in Christ we are being continuously loved as the right person, at the right time, in the right way and in the right measure.  It takes this justice perceived and received continously from Jesus  to allow this same justice to be released by us.

When we focus on being just we become frustrated and weary.  When we focus on and receive justice moment by moment from the perfect presence of Jesus in us by the Spirit, we begin to release one day at a time the justice we are receiving.

Focusing on how justly we have been and are being treated by Father, Son and Holy Spirit right now awakens justice in us. Receiving this justice one day at a time and moment by moment equips us with the right justice today’s complex people.  Releasing this same justice to the people who come into our lives each day becomes possible and sustainable in Jesus.

Do not worry about being just.  Let Jesus be the One who is your justice and you will find you can release the kind of justice you receive each day from the Father in Christ by the Spirit.

The just are the right people receiving the justice of God in Christ at the right time, in the right way and in the right measure.  Living like this in the ‘receive mode’ the just can release this same justice they receive from Jesus.

Jesus makes being a just person possible as we receive from Him. “Receive mode” toward Jesus in us makes justice possible. Justice is for those who can receive it.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cain Still Kills Abel

In the first two chapters of the Bible things in the world are “very good”.  By the time one reads on to chapter 4 of the Bible Cain murders his brother Abel in a religious rage. Evil moves fast.

Based on this Biblical story of the rapid human descent into family, social and religious violence, it is hard to defend the idea that today’s world is essentially worse than it has ever been.

Things have been as essentially bad as they are for a very long time.  What has changed is the scale and size of evil, not the essential nature or speed of evil.  In reality there are simply more Cains killing more Abels.

The  Bible narrative continues to be relevant because it always tells the truth about humanity.  No matter how ugly or beautiful the human story may be the Bible still explains it perfectly.

Though humanity may not be all of “one religion”, we are all biological blood brothers and sisters. We are all biological family and Cain continues to kill Abel.

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, " Acts 17:26

Whenever one person in the name of religion murders, they murder their own “blood brother”.   In doing so,  they are Cain killing a truly innocent family member.  This kind of orginal, religious hatred is exactly what the Apostle John pointed out in John 3:10-12.

"In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous."

In God’s eyes the murderous religious rage that afflicts our world today is nothing new.  It is the same religious rage that led Adam and Eve to conduct the first family funeral.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Words In Intensive Care

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Jesus in Matthew 4:4

Words can become sick, kill and even die.  Only the words that God defines and uses carry no sicknesses, death or time limit.

The way men and women use words can lead to a complete departure from the way God uses a word.  When sick and poorly defined words are used in conversation they can contaminate or kill true communication.

On one occasion a man sought Jesus out with a theological question.  Thinking he was communicating respectfully with Jesus he called Jesus “Good teacher”.

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”  Mark 10:17

Jesus immediately corrected his use of the word “good”. The way the man used the word “good” had stopped any useful conversation with Jesus  The man used the word “good” to describe what human effort can produce for God. 

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God." Mark 10:18

In Genesis chapter 1 God defines the word “good”.  God uses the word “good” seven times.  Each time it describes the creation from God’s point of view.  God said it was good because it was all He intended it to be and intended it to do.  “Good” describes perfect cooperation with God not personal attainment or effort.

Unfortunately, today the word “good” is abused, redefined and in intensive care.  Only Jesus by the Holy Spirit can cure such sick and abused words.  That is why Jesus made this statement in 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.”

The cure of our words should always be an important part of our discipleship.  Abide in Jesus’ words and the Holy Spirit will cure your words. 

Jesus will stop our conversation with Him when we use words incorrectly.  Let Jesus make your words God’s words and they will give life.

Bud McCord
Abide International

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Why Focus on and Believe in Jesus?

Because only focusing on Jesus reveals to us what God is really like.

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fulness should dwell.”  Col. 1:19

When we see Jesus we see the Father.  Seeing Jesus allows us to answer the fundamental questions of reality:  In Jesus do we see the kind of God we hope exists?  Does Jesus reveal the kind of God in whom we would seek refuge ?

When we focus on Jesus we see in flesh and blood what God thinks, feels and wants.  Focusing on Jesus we can decide if this is the God with whom we want to think.  Focusing on Jesus we can decide if this is the kind of God with whom we want to share our feelings.  Focusing on Jesus we can decide if this is the kind of God with whom we want to cooperate.

No amount of theological thinking about God  can replace focusing our full attention on Jesus. When we focus on Jesus  we meet the Father face to face.

Because only by believing in Jesus we become the  kind of people who can love continuously.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive;...” John 7:37-39

When we believe in Jesus as the drink that satisifes our inner thirst for love , the Holy Spirit becomes in us the river of  Jesus’ love which moves through our lives toward our neighbors.

As we believe in Jesus, He answers the second fundamental question of reality:  How can we become the kind of people we hope to be?  How can we love our neighbors as we love ourselves?  Believing in Jesus allows us to see and become  people who can  deliver love continuously by the Spirit in us.

Why focus on and believe in Jesus?

We focus on and believe in Jesus in order to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength  and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  We focus on and believe in Jesus because we exist to love God and our neighbor. Jesus makes both possible.

No other focus or belief can take us to this place of simultaneous Divine and human love. Only Jesus can take us to this place.  Focus on  and believe in Jesus. Only then love will flow toward God and others.   Without Jesus we can do nothing.  With Him our love can be perfected.

Bud McCord
Abide International