God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.
Behavior That Changed the World
Last post on the Book of Acts we left off with an examination of the behavior of the earliest Jesus followers, and how the way they behaved turned the world upside down. Those earliest believers were known among unbelievers as “the followers of the Way.” We saw how Jesus said, “I am the way . . .” And we saw how those early Jesus followers walked “in the same way in which he walked.” And we shared a little preview into the results of that behavior: thousands at a minimum, and perhaps more than a million in the first one hundred years following Jesus’ resurrection, were attracted to Christ, and gave their lives to Jesus. (John 14:6, 1 John 2:6) (see previous post Introduction to the Book of Acts)
Of course the power of the Holy Spirit was behind their behavior, but it’s worth noting that the way they related to unbelievers and to each other resulted in the people around them being drawn to Jesus. If you’re interested, today we want to share with you one very practical way you can behave the same way in which those early believers behaved.
1 Super Practical Way You Can Love Like Jesus
Last night I participated in an online event hosted by the people who founded The Jesus Table. The Jesus Table was a place where anyone in need was welcomed to a dinner, served restaurant style, at a local church. Now the same people who ran the Jesus Table want to take things a step further. They’ve thoroughly vetted four not-for-profits who have a great track record of success with helping people transition from homelessness to a stable living situation. These four organizations aren’t just offering temporary help but they’re helping people solve the problem of homelessness at it’s roots. They’re helping people to find permanent solutions. And they’re great at what they do. If you’re interested in helping to share Jesus’ love with the homeless in this way, you can check them out here: Hope for the Homeless Foundation.
You know, I’ve found that it’s so much easier to study and research. To study what Jesus said, to research how to love like Jesus, to read my Bible, to listen to a sermon. To do almost anything but take action on what Jesus told us to do.
I’m told one of the early church Fathers, John Chrysostom, had a problem with the congregants in his church. They were like me (and maybe they were like you too). They were interested in Jesus, in their own salvation, in the beauty and richness of God’s Word, but, they weren’t interested in actually doing what Jesus said to do. They weren’t living the way the earliest Jesus followers lived. They might have been known as believers in the Way. But they weren’t known as followers of the Way.
During this time of struggle in his own church John Chrysostom wrote this:
“If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”John Chrysostom
Because I’m a writer and a researcher, I’m prone to this error. Maybe you’re prone to this inclination too. One of my great fears is the moment after I die, I find myself standing in the presence of the Lord and he has a conversation with me about how I was “a hearer of His Word, but not a doer of His Word.”
I hope and pray I never hear those words from Him.
I hope and pray you never hear those words either.
One very practical way I can be a legitimate follower of the Way, one practical way I can be a doer of God’s Word and not just a hearer, one super practical way I can love like Jesus, is to help people who are amazing at sharing the love of Christ with those in need.
The Hope for the Homeless Foundation is made up of people like that.
So I’m going to help them.
I hope you do too.
The Ocean of God’s Love
“This is my endlessly recurrent temptation: to go down to that Sea (I think St. John of the Cross called God a sea) and there neither dive nor swim nor float, but only dabble and splash, careful not to get out of my depth and holding on to the lifeline which connects me with my things temporal . . .”— CS Lewis
“Father, help me and help the beloved person reading this right now never to fall into that temptation. But rather fill us with so much of the love of Christ that we can’t help but do what You want us to do to share that love with others. Fill us with so much of Jesus’ love that we’re profoundly uncomfortable not acting on that love.
“In Jesus’ name I ask.
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.