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.
It’s New Year’s Eve as I’m writing this, and it’s time to take a look back. Below you’ll find the top 10 blog posts on God Running from 2021.
10. Who’s Right: Pro Vaccination People or Pro Civil Liberties People? (Rightness and Forgiveness): Do you want to love like Jesus, unencumbered? Do you want to be free from anger, resentment, and disappointment during this global pandemic? And do you want to be happy, independent of your circumstances? Then read this post. Although it came in at number 10, this might be my favorite post from 2021.
9. We Must Obey God Rather Than Men: Acts 5:17-29: We saw a great deal of civil disobedience in 2021. Much of it was in my own backyard here in Portland, Oregon. So it’s not surprising that this post was so popular. Apparently what we read about in the headlines of 2021 raised the question in people’s minds: Is it right for a Jesus follower to engage in civil disobedience? The answer might surprise you.
8. 10 Ways You Can Be With Jesus: In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said he is with us always. So how does that work exactly? Well, in this blog post we look at 10 different ways Jesus’ presence can become a reality for you and for me. (Matthew 28:20)
7. Who Cares About the Old Testament? — Acts 3:24-26: This post could have been titled: Why Should I Care About the Old Testament? When I researched for this blog post I found the answers to this question very compelling.
6. Stephen’s Defense: This was a popular five part series exploring Stephen’s defense against his false accusers he faced in the court of the Sanhedrin. In these posts we learn how the way Stephen makes his case for Jesus is similar to the way Jesus opened up the Old Testament scriptures after his resurrection.
5. “Behold how these Christians love one another”: This article is based on a short quote from Tertullian. In it I share about my own personal experiences receiving the love of Christ from my fire department brothers, my door keeper team at church, the time Kathy’s mom came to live with us during the last nine months of her life, my brothers in Portland, and my family. Life more abundantly, that’s what Jesus wants for us. And his way leads to that abundant life.
4. What the Earliest Believers Devoted Themselves To: From the book of Acts, chapter 2, we learn about how the earliest believers lived, and, what they devoted themselves to in particular.
3. Why I Fear God: It fascinates me that Why I Fear God was the third most popular post from 2021 because it’s not fashionable to fear God in our current culture. But Jesus attracts people and draws people to himself in ways I don’t understand. Apparently, one of those ways is for people to read about the fear of God.
2. What if God Tells Me Not to get the Vaccine?: The coronavirus, the coronavirus, the coronavirus. It’s in the news every day and it impacts our lives every day, some more than others. For me, I have several vulnerable people in my life, so, the question of whether or not to become vaccinated was an important one, as it was for a reader named Lisa who had a serious dilemma concerning the vaccine. To learn about Lisa’s dilemma and find out about my response, read What if God Tells Me Not to get the Vaccine?.
1. Anger and Augustine: What a year it’s been. People are grieving the life they lost, the life we had before the pandemic. And sometimes when people grieve, they become raw, easily offendable — and — angry. We see it in our friends and family members, we see it in the headlines, we see it on our social media feeds, and, we see it in ourselves sometimes too. So maybe it’s not surprising that this post was the most popular post from 2021. People are looking for wisdom about their anger. And in this post, Augustine (I believe under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) shares God’s wisdom.
More popular than any of what’s on this year’s list were two excerpts from the book Love Like Jesus. If you’re interested you can find the book here: Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus).
It’s been a difficult year for many of us. I hope what you read here has helped in some small way. And if there’s anything I can do to help you through in 2022, I hope you’ll contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Father, have mercy on us because we’re sinners. You have been there with us through 2020 and 2021. We pray for even more of Your Presence in our lives in 2022. Bless us with the greatest intimacy with Jesus ever. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit more than ever. Use us for Your good purposes more than ever. We pray Your Kingdom will come to earth in the most real way possible during 2022, and we pray You will bless us with the privilege of being a part of it.
“In Jesus’ name we ask these things of You.
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.