Great words of wisdom from my dad, Bud McCord
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.Read More »
The Speed of God’s Compassion
“Pain suffered while we are alone is very different than pain suffered near someone else.” Henri NouwenRead More »
On the last day of His life on earth before His crucifixion Jesus refers to His Father as a Vinedresser–a farmer. Hardly the title I would chosen for the King of the Universe and the One who was at that moment overcoming the Evil One through His Son’s sustained and sustaining love.
Still, the title is the one Jesus chose. I have come to see why Jesus called His father a farmer during my 60 year journey in the world. God is not about changing the world. He overcomes it one human at a time. He takes the world as it is and does what He wants done through those He chooses. He takes into consideration all the tragic elements of the world and says, “I can grow my crops here in this life.”
We get angry at God because He does not change the tragic elements of the world, but He goes on with His work–getting His fruit visible and available in the middle of this tragic world.
The crop (fruit) God wants is called love – sustained love. Jesus is the first to have sustained the Farmer’s love. Since He did this all excuses about the world being too tough a place for sustained love to exist are eliminated. All excuses are gone for the branches of His sustained love and it is time to harvest the same sustained love crop worldwide.
Every time you pick up a beautiful apple, pear, banana or grape cluster, some farmer has overcome the world for you. For such beautiful fruit to end up on your table, the world was overcome and you benefit from the victory. Thank God for farmers!
The One who overcame the world is now abiding in you to bear the fruit of Jesus’ sustained love. No excuses now about the world needing to change before you can bear this fruit. The Farmer knows what He has done and he can do in the world just as it is. He can make us the bearers of sustained love if we will but abide 24/7 and moment by moment in His sustained and sustaining love.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will suffer tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus inspiring his disciples in John 16:33
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Think of “you are what you eat”. What we receive in our Spirit, reflects in our lives. We are receivers…whether for good or evil. Read this devotional and be encouraged to receive good & meditate on truth.
You Are What You Receive
By: Bud McCord
God told Adam and Eve they would be dead if they received the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They receive the fruit and died. The became what they received.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Gen. 2:16-17
John tell us that when we receive Jesus we will be children of God.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:11-12
From Genesis to Revelation we see this truth–We are what we receive. No one can decide to be what they want to be. They can receive what they want to be. They can choose the source and by so choosing they choose their being.
In Psalm 1 we see a contrast between what people chose to receive in the Old Testament.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Notice the words “he meditates day and night…” This is a deliberate receiving from God’s intentions as revealed in the law. This man became what he received.
Christ lives in you by His Spirit so you can abide in Him. To Abide is to receive moment by moment directly from who Jesus is.
You will bear the fruit of what you receive. Abide and you will be like Jesus.
Remember, you are what you receive.
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“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person.” Matthew 5:38-39
Some of the things Jesus said are beyond shocking. His words are from another reality.
If we hear Jesus’ words and obey them then we truly have begun to believe Jesus is God’s Son with all authority.
I have wrestled with the words of Matthew 5:38-39 for over 44 years. I guess that says something about just how far I still have to go with giving up on this world and its views on reality. By God’s grace I am learning to live these words, but I have only recently begun to truly see them more clearly after 60 years of observing the contrast between resisting and releasing among humans.
Here is what I have seen. The Universe never works for those who resist others. It cannot. The Universe is designed to work for those who release love not resist people. Why has this been so hard for me to see and accept?
I have not seen it because I lacked complete faith in Jesus’ words and I have not spent enough time observing the beautiful and powerful things of God around me that release but do not resist.
Flowers do not resist, they release what they are and they are beautiful.
Birds do not resist, they release what they are and they are beautiful.
Salt does not resist, it releases what it is. It is beautiful, pleasing and preserving.
The ocean does not resist, it releases what it is and it is beautiful, powerful and irresistible..
The sun does not resist, it releases what it is and it is beautiful, powerful and irresistible.
Rain does not resist, it releases what is beautiful. refreshing and it, too, is irresistible.
Who can resist these things and win?
Jesus did not resist, He released what He is and He the beginning and the end of all beauty and all reality. Who can resist Jesus and win? Didn’t He settle that once and for all at Calvary?
When I resist an evil person, I stop being what I was made to be–a person made in the image of God. I stop being the part of creation that is supposed to release love like God does. When I resist an evil person I stop being human because my enemy stopped being human in order to attack me. To stop loving is to stop being human. Try to picture Jesus not loving and you will get the irresistible picture.
Resistance will never win in this universe because God does not resist and He is irresistible. God does not need to resist. He is the great I AM who is the source of source. All that is good He releases. Nothing and no one can stop that.
The evil person who attacks another human being is swimming out into an ocean that will not resist him but it will swallow him in all that it is and all that it releases. The evil person will perish the more he resists and the farther he swims away from the shore of who he was created to be.
When an evil person attacks you, don’t follow the evil person into the ocean. Turn your cheek, walk the extra mile and follow love which will make you more and more like Jesus.
To be irresistible don’t resist. Just be you as God designed you to be.
When you release love you will find the universe cooperates with you because the Creator designed it to cooperate with love not hate.
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Soon after my conversion I was exposed to constant preaching on the “End Times.” At first I was a big fan of the prophetic messages. Eventually I began to lose interest in the constant predictions and theories.
I began to notice that people in the church, including me, could become so focused on the “end” that they were not living and loving “now”. It seemed as if we were so focused on who might the Anti-Christ that we were not living the real Christ.
Well, the End is nearer now than it was back in the 1970s. I am older and the world is going crazy in the middle east. Certainly “The End is Near.”
So, what does that mean to me right now? It means that my love for God and my neighbor is more important than it has ever been. Perfecting my love vertically toward God and horizontally toward my neighbor needs my full attention. I don’t have time for theories right now unless they can move me to love more perfectly. Yes, the end is near and love is calling me out among the people of the world whose end may be as near as today.
By the way, the End in the Scriptures is Jesus and He is always near.
Revelation 21:6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”Read More »
“If we confess our sins….” I John 1:9
Do Christians still confess their sins to God? It has been a long time since I heard a sermon on the need to confess our sins. It has been a long time since I heard a disciple of Jesus talk about confession. Where has confession gone?
Confession has always been difficult for men and women. It is not pleasant to discover when, where and how our love stops toward God or toward others. It has always been easier to throw stones at others than it is to see ourselves as we really are.
I remember hearing a speaker say that our ability to easily see and judge another person’s sin reveals a deep and intimate knowledge of the actions being judged. In other words, if you can see another’s sin easily, it is because you have personal experience with that same sin.
Jesus once dealt with an angry crowd of judgmental religious men who were about to stone a woman found in the act of adultery. (See John 8) He stopped their judgment by saying “He who is without sin can cast the first stone.” Beginning from the oldest and ending with the youngest they all dropped their judgment and left.
They left because Jesus led them into confession. The cure of judging others is in the spiritual discipline of confession. How long has it been since Jesus led you into confession?
“If we confess on sins….” that is a big “if”.
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By: Bud McCord
What does true spirituality look like?
The only way I know to see clearly and define correctly true spirituality is to look closely at the life and behavior of Jesus. Only Jesus’ life and behavior define and reveal to mankind what constitutes true human spirituality.
As I have examined closely Jesus’ true spirituality in the Gospels, I have come away with two helpful words—Pure Inspiration. Jesus lived Pure Inspiration among us. Being constantly inspired by God’s purity and presence, He was “God with us” as a human being. He was “grace and truth” made visible and available to us. The fullness of God dwelt in Him and that explains why we see God in Him.
If I want to be a spiritual human being like Jesus, then I must also be a man inhabited by the same pure Inspiration. I must find and enjoy the same source of Pure Inspiration that allowed Jesus to be who He was and do what He did.
In the book of Galatians Paul called finding and living in this kind of Pure Inspiration “walking in the Spirit.” In the book of Ephesians he called finding and living in this Pure Inspiration “Being filled with the Spirit.” In John 15 Jesus called this constant connection to Pure Inspiration “Abide”.
Whatever this contact and connection to Pure Inspiration is called, it always comes down to an intimate, continuous, personal relationship to the only source of Pure Inspiration that allows men and women to be what God intended for them to be since the beginning described in Genesis 1 and 2. Pure Inspiration is contact with and connection to the triune God that said in Genesis 1 “Let US make man in our image…”
No one’s spirituality will be what it should be until it is sourced in God’s total and inspiring purity. Jesus in us is our connection to that total purity. Jesus in us is God’s way of inspiring us moment by moment to be like Jesus was as a human being Just as He was inspired by His Father through the Spirit, He is willing to be our connection to Pure Inspiration right now.
When Jesus said He always did that which pleased the Father, He was saying that He always did what Pure Inspiration made Him want to do and also enabled Him to do.
When we abide in the true Vine, we, too, can be inspired to like Jesus. There is equal hope for all of us since the same Pure Inspiration that abides in one believer abides in all believers. Live Pure Inspiration today. Live Jesus. Living Jesus is what true spirituality looks like.
“Christ is all and is in all.” Col. 1:16
“For to me to live is Christ…” Phil. 1:21
“It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” Gal. 2:20
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By: Bud McCord
Here are some of my favorite thoughts.
“He who has Jesus lacks nothing.”
“Christ is all and is in all.”
“Whatever gets your attention gets you.”
“It is not that I sin less, it is that I abide more.”
“There is nothing that the presence of Jesus cannot cure.”
“I exist to love.”
“Jesus loves me this I know.”
“Nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.”
“Obeying Jesus’ words can make my soul indestructible.”
“God is enough.”
“Jesus said I will never die.”
“Something pure enough to be called ‘living water’ can flow from my life.”
“Grace is like oxygen. Jesus is God’s grace. Just breathe.”
“Any thought that does not begin in abundance does not begin in God.”
“Love Jesus before you try to love people.”
“Jesus made God’s love visible and available.”
“Abiding in Jesus is the normal Christian life.”
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil. 4:8
Abide International is an organization dedicated to helping Christ-followers worldwide
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By: Bud McCord
Breathe and Rest
I am so deeply in debt! I have lost control. I am suffocating. I am about to faint.
Even being so deeply in debt to God, His grace in Christ keeps coming to me day after day. Like oxygen I have never produced, His grace surrounds me. I have paid for none of it yet I continue to breathe in His grace in order to live. I cannot stop. I have become as dependent on His grace as I am on oxygen.
My debt grows exponentially until my hope to settle the debt overwhelms me. I weep. He smiles. He laughs. He knows I am too poor to pay. He finally has me where I belong—breathing His grace with no way to pay.
Suddenly I see the truth. I am not in debt! I am in His love. We live and dance as one.
I rest. Finally I can see what He wants. Freely I have received. Now freely I can give.
When I lost control I found my life. I live to give. I live to love.
Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8
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