It’s New Year’s Eve! Another year gone by and it’s been our privilege and honor to spend another year sharing Jesus with you. Today we want to share with you the ten most popular posts from God Running in 2022. And we want to say thank you to all of you. Thank you for joining us on a journey toward loving Jesus more deeply, following him more closely, and loving people the way Jesus wants us to.
Do you ever feel as though you lack the strength to do anything for God? I know I sometimes feel that way. In our tenth most popular blog post from 2022 we look at a group of the earliest believers who didn’t really believe they had the power to help a brother trapped in a most dire situation. To learn more check out our blog post, You Have More Power Than You Think You Have–Acts 12:11-17.
In our ninth most popular post from 2022, we share this one thing about the apostles and Barnabas and Paul and all the earliest Christians we’ve been reading about and learning about in the Gospels and in Acts.
To learn about the one thing, a most underrated thing, a most underrated ability, read our post, The Most Underrated Overlooked Ability.
According to Craig Keener the people of Antioch were known for making fun of others and one way they did that was to assign labels to people. So they labeled the earliest followers of Christ as “Christians” which literally means little anointed ones or little Christs. The believers of that time decided to embrace that name and some 2,000 years later, we’re still called Christians today.
In this our eighth most popular post from 2022, we’ll learn why those early believers welcomed that name. If you’re interested check out Truly a Christian, Literally–Acts 11:26.
#7: The Price of Pride–Acts 12:20-23
Remember that old proverb about the seven things God hates?
“There are six things that the Lord hates, Seven that are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who declares lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
That first one, “haughty eyes,” that speaks of pride. It’s the oldest sin in the book, literally. In the Bible, the first sin recorded is pride.
To learn more about pride and the price we pay when we indulge in it, check out The Price of Pride–Acts 12:20-23.
#6: 5 Reasons God Gave Philip Such an Easy Opportunity to Save a Soul–Acts 8:26-40
In our sixth most popular article from 2022, we look at the circumstances surrounding Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch. This unbeliever was almost begging Philip to lead him to Christ.
Full disclosure: I struggle in the area of evangelism. I need to do better. So I found it helpful to learn why God might have given Philip the easiest opportunity ever to lead someone to Jesus. Maybe you’ll find it helpful too.
If you want to learn more read 5 Reasons God Gave Philip Such an Easy Opportunity to Save a Soul–Acts 8:26-40.
#5: Why I’m Glad I’m Suffering–Acts 11:19-21
I have people in my life who are suffering right now. And of course I too have experienced suffering. There are those of us who have, and those of us who will. Suffering is inevitable.
So yes, God allows persecution and suffering. In fact, we were promised persecution and suffering. Jesus said it: In this world you will have trouble. (John 16:33)
But is it possible, that we’re better off with suffering than without it?
To learn more read Why I’m Glad I’m Suffering–Acts 11:19-21.
In this blog post we learn about one important reason why the earliest Jesus followers experienced peace and comfort from the Holy Spirit during dangerous times. The way these early Jesus followers were walking in the fear of the Lord reminded me of a friend of mine who owned a cabin in a remote location. This place is in a secluded spot about a one day hike from the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon. One of my friend’s neighbors was a University professor who kept a pen full of wolves, coyotes, and dogs. You could hear them howling at night. They would also interbreed and apparently a few escaped because there were wolf-dog hybrid sightings in the area from time to time. With the wolves, dogs, and coyotes howling in the darkness, my friend’s place could be intimidating, even to an adult, let alone to the grade school age visitor you’re about to be introduced to. To read more go to our fourth most popular blog post from 2022: Anxiety and Fear–Acts 9:31.
My favorite MLK quote:
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reminds me of something Jesus told us to do: Matthew 5:43-47
One time I heard this nun talking about Mother Teresa (in a YouTube video). She said Mother Teresa and a friend were standing next to each other on the street when a mutual acquaintance approached them. This person who was walking toward them happened to be someone Mother Teresa found obnoxious. As the person drew nearer, Mother Teresa leaned toward her friend’s ear and said in a quiet voice,
“Here comes Jesus in that annoying disguise.”
To learn more about how and when to recognize Jesus in disguise, check out our number two post from 2022: Jesus in Disguise — Acts 9:10-19.
#1: 5 Things About Cornelius (or 5 reasons God might have given Cornelius his life changing vision)–Acts 10:1-8
Have you ever received a vision from God? Me neither. But someone who did was Cornelius from Acts 10. You might be asking yourself, “Why did God choose Cornelius? Why not me?” This blog post, coming in at number one — our most popular article from 2022, might shed some light on that question:
But Wait — There’s More
Just barely outside of the top ten from 2022 were two of my favorite blog posts. I hope you don’t mind my sharing them with you.
In 2022, my son Gabriel shared with me this amazing Adam Savage video where he talks about the origins of a firefighting tool called the Halligan. In this blog post I share what I learned from that video and from a few other sources about the Halligan tool. Hat tip to Gabriel for turning me on to this fascinating story.
If you’re interested you can learn more here: The Secret Message Stamped on the Firefighter Halligan Tool.
Maybe My All Time Favorite Interview: Lifelong Atheist Jennifer Fulwiler Tells of her Life of Scientific Materialism, and Christianity
Lifelong atheist Jennifer Fulwiler speaks candidly about growing up in an environment where scientific materialism and naturalism was her way of life. (For her nightly bedtime reading, her father read from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.)
To watch the video or read a transcript of what she had to say, go to Maybe My All Time Favorite Interview: Lifelong Atheist Jennifer Fulwiler Tells of her Life of Scientific Materialism, and Christianity.
Thank you again for traveling with us! I hope and pray our God will make 2023 the best year ever for our quest to love Jesus and to love others the way He wants us to.
That would truly make for a happy new year.
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.