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
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by Bud McCord
“Good works are simply fruit falling off a tree. If you sink your roots deep in Christ, who is your life, you not be able to stop the fruit from coming forth.” Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola The Jesus Manifesto
Trees never eat their own fruit. The fruit is simply the visible proof that the tree has internally found its natural source of food and satisfaction. The tree will not eat its fruit because it is already well fed. Farmers focus on the well-being of the tree and they confidently wait for the fruit to appear. Visible fruit means the internal system is work is working.
Near the end of His ministry Jesus cursed a tree because it had no fruit. That tree represented the people of God in Israel who had not cooperated with God’s perfect care and provision. They were cursed because they existed to bear the fruit of God’s care and provision and they were useless as a plant without bearing fruit. Their failure was without excuse.
Christ in us, who is our life, provides for every believer the exact care and provision for the fruit of the Spirit to emerge naturally from our lives. Instead of cooperating with the perfect, inner presence of Jesus, we insist on trying to bear our own fruit. We try. That is our problem. Trying is not our job. Our job is to believe. Believing that this fruit will come from God through Christ in us is our work.
“Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” John 6:28-29
Human wisdom puts great faith in trying. God’s wisdom says we should rest and receive from Jesus in us by His Spirit.
If you are in the habit of really trying hard to be a good Christian, stop immediately. Instead, rest in Jesus, receive from Jesus and rejoice in Jesus. When you do, the fruit will come.
Receiving directly from Jesus in us is the source of all fruit God will claim as His.Read More »
by Bud McCord
I recently watched a news report about children in Afghanistan who are born addicted to heroin because their mothers are addicted to heroin. The mothers are addicted because their husbands are addicted. The children are born addicted whether they want to be or not. The addiction is generational, pervasive and deadly.
In the spiritual realm we are all born addicted to the outer, visible world for satisfaction. Though we did not personally chose this outward orientation away from God’s satisfying presence in us, it is the inheritance of our birth as Adam’s children. This addiction to the outward for satisfaction is generational, pervasive and deadly.
Jesus was not born addicted to the outer world for satisfaction. Jesus lived from the inside-out.
We can get a glimpse into Jesus’ inner orientation through His own words.
John 15: 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 17:20-21 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
I agree with author Thomas Kelly who said “Such practice of inward orientation, or inward worship and listening, is no mere counsel for special religious groups, for small religious orders, for special ‘interior souls,’ for monks retired in cloisters. This practice is the heart of religion. It is the secret, I am persuaded of the inner life of the Master of Galilee. He expected this secret to be freshly discovered in everyone who would be His follower.”
A TESTAMENT TO DEVOTION
Jesus was not born addicted to this outer orientation for satisfaction. Jesus was born with an inner orientation toward finding moment by moment satisfaction in God. He was abiding in His Father’s love, joy and peace for satisfaction. Jesus was truly clean.
To make a disciple is to lead people into a personal encounter with Jesus for forgiveness and then lead them out of their personal addiction to the outer orientation for satisfaction. It is to lead them to “Christ in you the hope of glory.” It is to lead them to “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” It is to teach them to abide in the Vine moment by moment so they can live fruitful lives of love.
Much of what passes for discipleship today never addresses our addiction to the outer orientation. It addresses the troublesome symptoms of the addiction through rules or recipes but it does not address the outer orientation versus the inner orientation.
Dealing with addicts is one of the most daunting tasks anyone can undertake because relapses are so common. Dealing with believers in Jesus who are coming out of their slavery to the outer orientation is no less challenging. Even so, this is the work of the church and relapses are part of the process.
Teaching others to live as Jesus lived is to face head on mankind’s addiction to the visible for satisfaction. Teaching others to live as Jesus lives means one forgiven, former addict is willing to teach a forgiven addict a whole new way of finding satisfaction. This includes dealing with the relapses that come.
We are all recovering addicts who are tasting inward love, joy and peace in Jesus. Because we have clearly seen Jesus for us at Calvary as our forgiveness, we can now enjoy Jesus in us right now as our satisfying life. As we learn to live from the inside reality of Jesus’ perfect love, joy and peace, the works of our addiction are put to death. This is no set of rules or clever recipes. This is satisfaction found and lived from the inside out moment by moment.
Outward orientation to the world for satisfaction is sleep and death. Inward orientation toward God in Christ is love, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Outward deadens and kills. Inward awakens and inspires us to love those who sleep as we once did.
In Jesus the addicts are free. Free to love God and love others. Abide and be clean.Read More »