Don’t Miss Out

Image of couple praying at racial injustice rally via JoLynne Martinez

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.

Last post from the book of Acts we looked at how some people will react when you receive God’s Holy Spirit and begin to live according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. (see previous post)

Before we continue on our journey through the book of Acts I just want to say one thing.

Don’t miss out.

500 – 120 = ___

We’re in Acts chapter 2 and we’re about to see human beings communicate in one of the most amazing and miraculous ways anyone has ever seen human beings communicate in all of history. They were all gathered together in one place, we’re told in verse 1 of chapter 2. In Acts chapter 1 we saw how the disciples obeyed Jesus’ instructions to wait for the Holy Spirit by gathering together and praying with one accord. And as a result of their obedience and their prayers, they’re about to experience God in a most amazing way. But here’s a crazy thing. We know from what Paul said in his first epistle to the Corinthians that 500 people witnessed Jesus’ resurrection. (Acts 1:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

So here’s my question: Why were only 120 gathered there in Jerusalem praying with one accord? Where were the other 380 who witnessed the resurrected Jesus?

Don’t Miss Out

I just want to flip your perspective a little bit concerning COVID-19 and all of its associated restrictions. The 120 could have fallen into a funk because they just spent three years living with God and now He’s gone. But they didn’t. Instead they listened to what Jesus told them to do and they did it.

So could it be that right now, during this crazy time in history we’re living in, Jesus is instructing us to do the same thing he asked his disciples to do? Could this be an opportunity?

We already shared with you about how my family gathered together outside on Gabe’s patio, surrounded by an assortment of heating devices, on Christmas day. Gabe prayed, we read the Christmas story from the Bible, and we worshipped Jesus together in song. It was one of the best Christmases I’ve ever experienced. (If you’re interested you can learn more about that time here: Jesus is Here With Us Now)

So we can do it. We can gather together in one place and pray with one accord. Besides gathering with my closed herd, my biological family, I also gather together with a small group of men outdoors or in a video meeting most Saturdays.

Where I grew up, people used to gather together to go ice fishing. If we can do that, we can gather together outside to pray.

We can also pray more indoors with the people who are around us every day. We can pray with our wives more, with our kids more, with our friends over the phone more.

And we can pray for the promise of the Father the way the disciples did.

What might happen if we dare to pray this way? What might happen if we all begin to ask God to give us His Holy Spirit the way He did Jesus’ disciples of old?

Could this be an opportunity for God to pour His Spirit out upon us in a way that inspires us to communicate the love of Jesus to the world in an amazing way during a unique time in history?

Look, I’m writing this to myself as much as I am to anyone else right now.

But I’m willing to try it.

I hope you’ll join me.

I hope you’ll be like one of the 120 in our passage, and not like one of the 380. I hope you won’t miss out.

I hope you’ll pray at every opportunity. I hope you’ll join me in asking God to give us His Holy Spirit the way He did Jesus’ disciples in Acts.

In Jesus’ name.

Image of couple praying at racial justice rally via JoLynne Martinez — 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.

(Kindlehardcover, and paperback now available on Amazon.)

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