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