GodRunning is a place for anyone who desires to love Jesus more deeply, follow him more closely, and love others the way Jesus wants us to.
“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not wrtitten in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. –John 20:29-31
Believing Without Seeing
Thomas saw Jesus, after his resurrection. He was even invited to touch the wounds caused by Jesus’ crucifixion. He had a conversation with Jesus. And as a result of that encounter, Thomas confessed to Jesus out loud, for everyone to hear, “My Lord and my God!”
After Thomas made that statement, Jesus says, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen Jesus the way Thomas did. But I believe. I’ve never seen air, but I believe in air, there’s evidence for air. I can breathe. So I can experience the effects of air. I’ve never seen the wind, but I believe in the wind. I can see evidence of the wind. The people who lost their loved ones or their homes or their businesses in the recent wildland fires have seen the evidence of the wind. And they believe in the wind, even though they can’t see it. I believe in my brain — and yours too — even though I’ve never seen a living brain.
You and I believe in reality, even though if you or I were crazy, many of our experiences could be a delusion. But our experiences seem real to us, so we believe in them.
The Atheist Whose Mind Was Opened
There’s this atheist I wrote about once who grew up in an atheist home. Her bedtime readings from her dad were from the book Cosmos by Carl Sagan. As a young adult she enjoyed debating Christians. She said it made her feel intellectually superior. Clearly materialism was the only way a thinking person could look at the world.
Then she had a baby.
She shared the moment her mind began to open. In her own words:
‘What is this baby?’ And I thought, ‘Well, from a pure atheist materialist perspective, he is a collection of randomly evolved chemical reactions.’ And I realized if that’s true, [then] all the love that I feel for him, that it’s all nothing more than chemical reactions in our brains. And I looked down at him, and I realized: that’s not true. It’s not the truth. And I didn’t know where to go from there but that’s what prompted me to start researching topics of spirituality.
Eventually she came upon some of the great Christian thinkers: Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Descartes, people who wrote these intellectually rigorous books. What these church fathers thought about the Bible and the Bible itself made her begin to think something explosive and world changing happened in first century Palestine. Eventually she became a Jesus follower. (See Lifelong Atheist Jennifer Fulwiler Tells of Her Life of Scientific Materialism, and Christianity)
The Reason the Gospel of John was Written
Those explosive world changing events Fulwiler mentioned are recorded here, in the book of John, and in the New Testament. And John tells us the reason why these events were written: “. . . that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Dear reader, if you don’t already believe and you’ve read this far, can I give you my best advice? Respond to the written record in the book of John and the rest of the Gospel accounts and believe that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. And just as Jesus said, you’ll be blessed.
And you’ll have life in Jesus’ name.
You’ll have abundant new life here on earth, and eternal life with Christ in the hereafter.
Image by Linnaea Mallette via needpix — Creative Commons
Newly released book by Kurt Bennett, now available on Amazon!
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.