We had a great night at our O.C. Bible study with the showing of the newest version of Lost Boy: The Next Chapter.
I am actually taking a break right now, so I wasn’t there at the showing. But some 1,400 people came, saw the film, and heard a testimony from my son Jonathan and a message by my friend Levi Lusko.
I will be gone this Sunday, so Levi will be speaking at Harvest at all three morning services.
Levi is only in his 20s, but has been gifted by God as a very effective Bible teacher and evangelist. Only a couple of years ago, he planted a new church in Montana called Fresh Life Church that has exploded in growth and is touching many people.
I know you will be blessed if you tune in to the webcast or hear Levi Lusko in person.
New Web site
A lot of you have responded to the news of our upcoming new Web site rollout, especially the new women’s microsite that will be called Virtue. It won’t be long before both sites are live. I will keep you posted.
A few more thoughts on discipleship
Yesterday, I mentioned that I had just completed a new book on discipleship. Here is another excerpt from it for you to peruse.
Foundational to discipleship is loving God more than anyone or anything else. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). A statement like that sounds shocking. But as we balance this verse with other Scripture, we know clearly Jesus is not commanding the hatred of people, especially members of our own family. Why would God tell us to honor our fathers and mothers and also demand that we hate them? Jesus even told us to “love [our] enemies” (Matt. 5:44), so we need to get the big picture here.
In context, Jesus was not saying we should hate people, per se. Essentially He was saying that we should love God more than anyone or anything else—so much so that our love for those people or things would seem like hatred in comparison.
Jesus was basically saying, “If you want to be my disciple, then love me more than anyone or anything else.” It makes perfect sense when you think about it. If you want to live your Christian life to its fullest, then love Jesus more than anyone or anything else.
People have been kept back from following Jesus by their fear of what others might think. They know that if they give their life to Christ, they will lose a lot of so-called friends. If they give their life to Christ, it would mean the end of a relationship. If they give their life to Christ, it would cause friction in their home. That is what holds them back. But Jesus says, “If you really want to be my disciple, you must love me more than anyone or anything else.”
Here is what it comes down to: You either will have harmony with God and friction with people, or you will have harmony with people and friction with God. If you are living the way that God wants you to live, then it is going to seriously bother some people. You need to know that. Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets” (Luke 6:26 NIV). If you are really a follower of Jesus Christ and living as you ought to, there are going to be certain people that don’t like you for that reason alone. Don’t be hurt by that. Understand it is par for the course. As Jesus said, “ ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20 NIV).
A disciple loves God more than anyone or anything else.