God Running is a place for anyone who wants to love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.
After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila.Acts 18:18
I’m so intrigued by this verse! Paul takes Priscilla and Aquila with him on his journey to Syria.
Yesterday I was sharing with a Bible study group and part of our study included John 15:15 where Jesus says,
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”John 15:15
First of all, it blows me away that Jesus, the Son of God, the Light of the world, the Alpha and Omega, the Co-Creator of the universe and all that’s in it would call his disciples his friends. And I’m also amazed because we have the gospels, what Jesus shared with his disciples he’s also shared with you and with me. So I believe he would say the same about you and me.
Jesus, the friend of sinners, calls you his friend. And he calls me his friend too.
But the other thing I noticed was this idea of transparency between Jesus and his friends. “. . . I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you,” Jesus said.
I have these three really great friends. We were getting together most Saturday mornings for awhile before two of them moved away. The goal of the group was to help each other to become more like Jesus, and to follow him better. We would talk, and pray. Occasionally we would play golf together. Sometimes we would gather for breakfast. (That’s how the remaining member of this group and I usually still connect on Saturday, over breakfast.) Three of us even went on a couple of retreats together, just the three of us.
We would share our setbacks and our breakthroughs in our respective quests to love like Jesus. Even now we stay in contact and share our setbacks and our breakthroughs. And the thing is, we’re transparent with each other. We share things we don’t share with anyone else except maybe our spouses.
I would love to know what those conversations were like between Paul and Priscilla and Aquila. All three had tent making and a love of Jesus in common. I would bet they all three helped each other to become more conformed into the likeness of Christ.
The influence those three men have had on me is enormous. Much of the content you read on this blog is because of those three.
Can I give you my best advice?
One of the very best things, maybe the best thing, you can do to follow Jesus, love like Jesus, and become more like him is to be intentional about finding faithful friends like the three friends I found. Jesus did that. Jesus prayed all night about who to choose as his twelve friends. And he made them his family. (Luke 6:12-13, Matthew 12:48-50)
Like Paul, Priscilla, and Aquila, who journeyed together to Syria. Find friends who are filled with the Spirit of Jesus and who reflect his nature. Connect yourself to those friends. Be transparent with those friends. Make memories and go on adventures with those friends.
Journey through life with those friends if you want to love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and become more like him.
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. (Kindle, hardcover, and paperback now available on Amazon.)