Jesus said, “Will you lay down your life for My sake?” (John 13:38).
In a world bewitched by consumerism, entertainment and selfies, it’s formidable to reach people with the message of discipleship, until you realise people are hungering for something more than the world’s empty promises.
“Revival, missions and discipleship have defined ByFaith Media,” said Mathew Backholer, “and we invariably return to cultivating discipleship.”
In an age where preachers are tempted to deliver sugary sermons on getting rich or growing status in the world, the truth of finding a deeper life in Christ is compelling for those tired of vacuous sermons.
If you look at best-selling religious books, you find that Christian authors are tempted to compose books that focus on getting rich and climbing the ladder of success, but would Jesus of Nazareth endorse these books?
“The purpose of Christ’s message is to transcend the temporal,” said Paul Backholer, “and there is a deeper life, with weighty meaning when we take up our cross and follow Jesus.”
The brothers wrote about the cost of discipleship in 2002 and the first book published by ByFaith Media was about the mission, preparation and training to serve God. Then, in 2003, the brothers uploaded a free discipleship course to the first version of the ByFaith website with fifty-plus articles.
Although discipleship is not a vogue word in Christian preaching and book sales about sacrificing for Christ remain low, ByFaith Media continues to commit to publishing books that retain a deeper meaning for those interested in going beyond this worldly realm.
St Paul warned Christians will be tempted to surrender the depths of Christ for insincere shallowness, when he said, “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:21), but Jesus promises His sheep will hear His voice and respond (John 10:27).
“There is spiritual wealth to be found going deeper in Christ,” said Mathew Backholer, “and we developed our discipleship books and pages for those who want more than ‘feeling’ blessed, and to mine spiritual wealth.”
In some sense, every book ByFaith Media publishes maintains discipleship at its heart, but the books which specifically focus on the deeper truths are:
Besides these books, Paul’s Christianity 101 series is being published for free viewing at ByFaith.org, which was written in a letter style, responding to questions that are posed by believers on their journey of faith.
“Disciples of Jesus give up their temporal desires to find veritable treasure in Christ,” said Mathew Backholer. “Christian discipleship is a treasure hunt where you uncover something beyond gold and silver.”
Then Jesus said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:23-25).