Chapter 7: Grace And Truth — From the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)

woman-at-well-by-waterdotorg-creative-commons

Today’s post is from my new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus).

Last Saturday we posted Chapter 6: How Jesus Loved Judas To The Very End.

Love Like Jesus is due to be published later this year. If you’re interested in serving as a beta reader, send me an email at kurt@kurtbennettbooks.com.

Chapter 7 — Love Like Jesus: Grace And Truth Continue reading

Chapter 4: Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, And A Sinking Man–From the new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)

Man sinking into a quicksand whirlpool

Today’s post is from my new book Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus).

Last Saturday we posted Chapter 3: How Not To Become A Christian Doormat.

Love Like Jesus is due to be published later this year. If you’re interested in serving as a beta reader send me an email at kurt@kurtbennettbooks.com.

Chapter 4 — Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, And A Sinking Man

I Hated Jim Bakker Continue reading

Is Believing In Jesus All That’s Required? (Because after all, Jesus gave us commands)–John 6:22-40

Marriage via pixabay - Public Domain

We left off in our study of the book of John with Jesus allowing his disciples to be battered about by a storm. There may have been a good reason for that. If you’re interested you can read the last post from the Gospel of John here: What It Takes To Be Glad About Jesus: John 6:16-21.

The Work Of God

The morning after the storm, what the crowd saw was that Jesus sent his disciples over to the other side of the sea of Galilee in a boat, and then he himself hiked up a mountain to pray. What they didn’t see was Continue reading

The Kingdom Of God Is Like A Football Team by Brant Hansen

youth-football via publicdomainpicturesdotnet

Brant tells his story better than I ever could. Watch the full video here: The Kingdom of God is Like a Football Team

An Unlikely Coach

When they asked Brant Hansen to Continue reading

Monty Williams’s Words At His Wife’s Memorial Service

Wise Words

Last Tuesday, in Oklahoma City, a car crossed the centerline and collided head on with the vehicle of Ingrid Williams, the wife of Monty Williams, an assistant coach for the OKC Thunder and former head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. Monty’s wife was killed in the crash. They have five children.

Last night on TNT’s NBA halftime show, rather than talk about hoops they aired this video of “what Monty Williams had to say in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.”

The Grace/Truth Equation: John 1:14

Grace/Truth Equation

Never Bored Again

I was talking with a thirty-something last night and he and I both concluded we never feel bored. Maybe that’s not surprising. There’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. There’s podcasts, blogs, and Google searches. There are 300 hours of new video uploaded to Youtube–every minute, more than 150,000 new Reddit posts and submissions each day, and at the bottom of every Google News category there’s a link that says, “More Sci/Tech stories,” or “More Sports stories,” or “More U.S. stories,” or “More World stories.”

More.

There’s more amazing information available to occupy our attention than ever before. (And I haven’t even touched on TV, music, movies, and video games.)

I love living at this point in the time-space continuum where we can have such an incredible amount of information available to us. I love doing research. I love checking out Youtube videos, articles, and subreddits in my areas of interest. But there’s a catch. Continue reading

Firefighter Kills Mother and Unborn Son in Head-on: What Happened Afterwards is Astounding

In Dacula, Georgia a twenty-year old firefighter named Matthew Swatzell just finished a 24 hour shift. While he was driving home that morning he fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line, and drove head-on into an oncoming car. That car was carrying the wife, unborn son, and daughter of a youth pastor named Erik Fitzgerald.

Erik’s wife and son were killed in the crash. Only his nineteen month old daughter survived.

What happened afterwards is astounding.

[HT Irene, longtime loyal reader.]

Love Like Jesus: Grace for a Trespass

grace for trespass love like Jesus

Augustin Tünger: Facetiae Latinae et Germanicae, Konstanz 1486, Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart, Cod. HB V 24a. – Illustration from the life of St. Peter: Saint Peter paying a fee by extracting coins from the mouth of a fish. Image via wiki commons.

The temple tax collectors approached Peter and asked him directly, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?”

Peter was on the spot. He didn’t really know if Jesus intended to pay the Temple tax or not. But instead of confessing he didn’t know, he decided to wing it. Sure he does, Peter said.

That was quite an assumption. And that must have been quite a long walk home, wondering the whole way back what Jesus really thought about the Temple tax.

Upon his return, as Peter walks in the door I can see in my mind Jesus chuckling to himself. What do you think Simon? Jesus asks. Who do the kings of the earth collect taxes from–from their own kids, or from others? Continue reading

Love Like Jesus: Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, and a Sinking Man

Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, Sinkiing Man

I Hated Jim Bakker

I hated Jim Bakker. You know, the guy who was married to Tammy Faye. Jim was a televangelist to millions. Jim was a man who created a four square mile Christian theme park. Jim was also a man who sunk down to incredible lows. Jim Bakker was the man who admitted to having sex with his young secretary, and whose life hit bottom when he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 45 years in prison. From my perspective, Jim Bakker had a love for money more than a love of Christ. He lacked honesty and integrity. And he had a sex scandal–thrown in for good measure. He was everything Jesus Christ is not. He misrepresented our Lord to millions.

Yeah, Jim Bakker: I hated that guy.

Jim Bakker and Billy Graham Continue reading

Becoming a Great Man or Woman of God: Genesis 47:7-12

Read Genesis 47:7-12

Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.

Genesis 47:10



Great Men of God:

He was intimidating. He was a bad to the bone long haired biker who loved to party. Skeeter Jackson was up to his eyes in the biker culture and I’m not talking about Bikers for Christ.

John Webb was a clean cut, responsible, hard working man. He was everything opposite of Skeeter Jackson. And Skeeter’s life represented everything John was opposed to. But in spite of that, John reached out to Skeeter. He did his best to gently show Skeeter Christ’s love.

In our text we see Jacob bless Pharoah. He blessed him even though Pharaoh was exceedingly different from Jacob culturally. He blessed him even though Pharaoh was different from him ethnically. He blessed Pharaoh even though he was different from Jacob religiously.

Billy Graham was like that. I recently read the book The Preacher and the Presidents. Over the course of his lifetime, Billy Graham had friendships with nearly every President of the United States, regardless of their politics or religious beliefs.

Jesus loved and blessed other people, without regard for who they were as well. Jesus blessed adulteresses, corrupt tax collectors, and prostitutes. He loved zealots and skeptics. He blessed Jews and Gentiles.

All great men and women of God seem to do that.

All great men and women of God seem to have that one thing in common: they have a way of loving people without regard for differences. And they consistently bless people regardless of how others view them.

 

The Rest of the Story:

Skeeter Jackson’s story didn’t end in the biker culture. As a result of John Webb’s tender overture on Jesus’ behalf, Skeeter made a decision for Christ. Immediately afterwards he lost his desire for alcohol and drugs. In a short time he turned his life around completely. Skeeter Jackson was a new man in Jesus.

Shortly thereafter, John became a firefighter. After awhile he encouraged the regenerated Skeeter to apply, and, with John’s help, Skeeter became a firefighter too.

A few years after that a skinny kid from Chicago became a firefighter for the same department there in the Rogue Valley, in Oregon. He was assigned to Skeeter’s crew, and, more than anyone else, Skeeter influenced him to give his life to Jesus Christ.

That skinny kid was me.

So love people who are different from yourself. Bless people who are shunned by others.

See people the way John saw Skeeter, the way Jacob saw Pharaoh. See people the way Jesus saw the prostitutes and the tax collectors.

See people the way God sees people.

Find and focus on the good in people then love them, and bless them.

Become a great man or woman of God.

 

Related Links:

Cerulean Sanctum

Insider Look at Christian Outreach to Sex Industry Employees on NotAshamedOfTheGospel.com