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