This week’s guests both have a legacy of inspiring and moving people through entertainment, one through music and both through film–Bart Millard and Jim Caviezel. First we have Bart Millard who is a GRAMMY nominated singer/songwriter and the lead vocalist for the band MercyMe. His mega-hit “I Can Only Imagine,” has inspired millions of listeners with its joyful anticipation of heaven. Bart has written a book about his life, which has now become a major motion picture that released this month in theaters. Our second guest is Jim Caviezel, a highly acclaimed actor who came to prominence after his groundbreaking performance as Jesus in the blockbuster movie The Passion of the Christ. Jim has gone on to choose thoughtful and inspirational roles that speak to his deep faith as a Christian, and has had commercial success in both the faith-based and mainstream entertainment world. He speaks to us today about a new movie he stars in called “Paul….” and gives us some background on his faith filled journey through hollywood.
Our Hurts, God’s Healing: MercyMe’s Bart Millard and Actor Jim Caviezel – Jesus Calling Podcast Episode #88
Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling podcast. Today’s guests both have a legacy of inspiring and moving people through entertainment, one through music and both through film–Bart Millard and Jim Caviezel. First we have Bart Millard who is a GRAMMY nominated singer/songwriter and the lead vocalist for the band MercyMe. His mega-hit “I Can Only Imagine,” has inspired millions of listeners with its joyful anticipation of heaven. Bart has written a book about his life, which has now become a major motion picture that released this month in theaters.
There’s No One God Can’t Reach
Bart: I’m Bart Millard the lead singer of the band MercyMe for the last 24 years. I’ve been married to my wife Shannon for 20 years. I have five amazing kids, and somehow, I’ve worked my way into having a movie come out about my life and a book and all kinds of stuff. So here I am.
The song “I Can Only Imagine” I wrote back in 1999, and it was written a few years after my father passed away with cancer. I grew up in an abusive home. My parents divorced when I was three. I grew up with my dad who was abusive man up until about my freshman year of high school when he was diagnosed with cancer. I kind of got this front row seat to see the Gospel transform him from this monster to one of my favorite people I’ve ever known and my best friend and the guy I want to be like when I grow up. Just to be able to see that transformation firsthand, I always say it kind of set me on a warpath for the gospel and kind of changed the trajectory of my life to where I’m still doing ministry because I’ve always said, “If the Gospel can change him, it could change anybody.”
“If the Gospel can change him, it could change anybody” – Bart Millard
If someone had asked me, “Who’s the one person that God cannot reach?” I would’ve said it was my dad 100 times out of 100. I just had no idea of the transformation that was literally taking place right in front of me over the about four or five years that he was alive. If someone had told me when I was a freshman high school: “By the time you’re a freshman in college, he’s going to be your absolute hero and the greatest example of Christ that you’ll ever know,” I would have thought, “There’s no way. There’s no way.” Only God could have been a part of that.
He never went to church. We grew up going to church when I was young, but he stopped going. I have an older brother… five years older. When he graduated high school, I was in seventh grade. I think it really broke my dad’s heart. It was just the two of us from that point on. A year and a half later he was diagnosed with cancer, and I got really, really involved with the youth group… like obsessive… like, it would keep me from having to go home.
Grace to Change A Heart
I think in this weird way, my dad was always jealous of that and just not a fan, so he didn’t go to church very often. I used to sing in church and in high school and found out that during the last year or two of his life, he would listen to it. They would broadcast on the radio AM station, and he would listen every morning. He would keep listening to the pastor preach afterwards and stuff, and over time… you know, I didn’t know we owned a Bible in our house. I would find him falling asleep with his face in the Word every night, and I could hear him praying for my brother and my mom — who he divorced when I was three — on a regular basis. I’m like, “What in the world is going on?” Even though I was involved with church, and I loved Jesus, I was kind of oblivious that this was taking place. I wish I could take credit and say that I did something, but other than him listening to me on the air… I was so afraid of him it never crossed my mind to think that he had a chance. Maybe it’s a prophet being without honor in his own country. I don’t know, but I never thought it would be me because I was so afraid of him, and for a long time, I didn’t trust… I don’t even know if I wanted grace to be for him because I was so hurt and angry.
“I don’t even know if I wanted grace to be for him because I was so hurt and angry.” – Bart Millard
When he started… when there was definitely a shift and his heart was changing, I remember being almost bitter about it because I thought: “If anybody changes my dad, it better come from me because I was like this little “holier-than-thou” youth group kid. And just the fact that it was happening without me not really being aware of it, even though he would say, “It’s because I was watching you, and I was watching you cling to this truth” going through his horrible stuff. He would say that I was a big part of that. But it wasn’t intentional on my part. I was just trying to get by, and maybe that’s the best way. He said that he saw me being that when people were watching and when people weren’t and it did something to him. I don’t know. I wish I could say I had a planned out thing, but I did didn’t.
In my senior year of high school, I committed to go to — I went to about six different schools in about a year and a half, which is weird — but I committed to go to… I have to think of which one was first it’s been so long. I think it was Texas A&M. And I went out to do like a fish camp and the freshman stuff, and my dad got really, really sick, and so I was like, “I can’t miss it.” I came back because there’s was just my dad and I that lived together. It was just us. And then he would have these moments where he’d get better and then he’d get worse. And then I kind of let that one pass. And he was like, “You can’t be doing this. You’ve got to go wherever you need to go.” So I had opportunity to possibly go to Baylor, so I checked in on that and was able to enroll late. But then he took a turn before I even got… like I think I was literally driving to Waco when it happened, and so I came back home. I was like, “You know? That’s it. I’m just going” — East Texas State University was ten minutes away — “to enroll here and stay with you.” Unfortunately, he passed away November of my freshman year in college.
The Story Behind “I Can Only Imagine”
The song came about after my father passed away. We were leaving the gravesite. My grandmother said I can only imagine what Bubb is seeing right now. As a 19 year old, I became obsessed with heaven, and not like a “I’m a better Christian than other people.” It was more this OCD kind of… it was just a way to cope. I became consumed with my dad. Almost telling myself: “He’s better off. He’s better off.” Like a lot of us do. And dreaming of him as being whole and seeing what he’s seeing. That was way easier to swallow than an empty bedroom.
For years, if I had a pen in my hand, I would write the phrase “I Can Only Imagine” down on anything. If I was on hold on the phone, I’d be writing it. I carved it in my desk when I was in college and just always wrote it. My grandmother always thought I was practicing my autograph, but it was literally writing that phrase. A few years later, we started MercyMe, and we were we were needing one more song on an independent record, and I had three journals that I carried before smartphones. I carried these three journals to write lyrics. Every page… every journal had “I Can Only Imagine” written on it in some way, shape, or form. And so I was really frustrated because I just wanted a blank page, and it took me kind of say, “Okay, I get it God.” It was just it took about ten minutes to write, but it had been in my heart for quite some time.
The Origins of MercyMe
After he passed away, my grandmother and myself, we just had to stick around and take care of everything, you know, and so then by the spring — that was 1991 — so by the spring of 1992, my youth pastor that I had for years moved to another church in Florida.
He called me and said, “Why don’t you come?” I was singing a little bit, like solos in church. But he was like, “Why don’t you come for spring break and just sing for our youth group just to get out of Greenville.” So I went to visit him, and it was the first time I’d ever seen like a live worship band. This is way before bands were the norm. I was like, “Man, this is really great. These kids are really good.” Anyway, he offered me a job, so I moved to Lakeland, Florida to work in a church for a while. That’s why I started playing around with live bands just helping kids out and stuff. I then went to Florida Southern College briefly, and then realized I was going to be paying that off the rest of my life. So then it was a community college. At some point — which is where the band got its name — I told my grandmother, “I think I’m going to take — my Sophomore year I was going to take one semester off just to figure things out.” And she was like, “What are you going to do?” I said, “Well, I think I’m going to start a band.” And she said, “Well if it’s not how she said ‘mercy me’,, why don’t you get a real job. And I was like, “Oh man, I think I got the band name. So yeah, I guess I’m still a sophomore in college. It keeps me young.
Singing In The Band
We started playing around churches in Florida, and actually, we weren’t MercyMe yet. We were just a worship band and a church band and played around. Then, at some point, I met a ministry out of Oklahoma that was passing through promoting teen missions and stuff like that overseas. I started working with them kinda on the side when they would do weekend conferences. That’s where I met Jim, our keyboard player, and so we started MercyMe like in 1994, the following year.
I thought, “Well, I live in Florida. If for some reason that we get busier, Oklahoma City’s more centrally located… we had high hopes at time. So Mike, who is in the youth group in Florida and our guitar player, we both moved to Oklahoma City in 1994, started the band, lived in an abandoned daycare center because that was the only place we could find a live. We’d record albums on one end and live in the other one. We made six albums on our own, and it was 1999 or 2000 when we signed a record deal and been hanging on for the ride ever since.
Bart Shares His Life on The Big Screen
We were approached about making the movie eight years ago. A production company… a lady out of California saw me sharing part of my story on stage one night. She approached me and said, “I think there might be a movie in this.” And we like, “No, there’s no way or whatever, you know?” She says, “No, I’m really going to try.” I was like, “Okay. Great.” So for five years, she literally would call me about once or twice a year saying, “I still haven’t forgotten about you. I’m still trying to figure it out. We just knew. It’s just not going to happen. Sadly, it’s not the first time someone said, “Hey, I think I want to make a movie or whatever.” Like some college film kid or whatever you know. So we were like, “Whatever.” And then about three years ago when the Irwin brothers got involved and the script started taking shape, I was like, “Oh man, this may actually happen.
I remember, even though I said yes five years before, I started getting nervous thinking, “Man, everything I’ve tried to bury my whole life — not only are we about to dig it up — but we’re about to put it on a big screen. So yeah, it was scary at first. The crazy thing is — and it’s totally a God thing — is that in that same 8 year span, my wife’s brother was killed in a car accident. So it was just really a struggle. It really affected our marriage just not processing that whole thing. About that same time eight years ago, separate from them wanting to make a movie, we started going to grief counseling. This godly counselor, she started showing me how my childhood was attached to the way I respond and react to things and who I am as an adult. I just avoided it like it never happened. So we started unpacking this thing within those first five years, completely separate from the movie thing.
“…everything I’ve tried to bury my whole life — not only are we about to dig it up — but we’re about to put it on a big screen.” – Bart Millard
By the time they approached me, five years later when they said the script has started taking shape and the movie’s going to happen, I can honestly say that I was in a healthier place to where if it had happened any sooner, I would have been a trainwreck. I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but it’s totally a God thing that He started this path eight years ago to where my wife and my family and my brother and my mom had to kind of process through a lot of this stuff to where it’s easy to tell a story now where it wouldn’t necessarily have been that easy before.
The Impact of a Movie
The movie’s about my childhood living with my dad, and my mom leaving, and him wrestling with cancer, and into the early years of MercyMe and starting the band. It’s really about how the song “I Can only Imagine” came about.
I didn’t even think about the impact the movie might have on other people who have gone through similar stuff. Which, when you’re in ministry, it seems like the first thing, but I was so just worried about getting the story right. Or “Should I be telling this story?” It wasn’t till the first screening with an audience where these men started coming up saying, “Man, I’ve had similar experience, and it’s unresolved” or “I’m that dad” or whatever. I was like, “Oh my gosh.” Somehow, the ministry side completely left me during the whole process. I know that it’s going to open some wounds for a lot of people that possibly watch it. For me, that 8 year journey — separate from the movie — if it wasn’t for that of just unpacking and understanding because for my dad, especially when my dad died, it was like all was forgiven. And so he became a saint, so to speak, that’s what it felt like. And my brother and I both, we wouldn’t even address the things that happened. Not to mention, those last three or four years, he was just an amazing man.
Bart’s True Life Story
The whole book idea came from… normally, you have a book that’s written first, and it’s turned to a movie. That was not the case with this one because they’re taken 25 years of my life and packing it into about an hour and 55 minutes. There’s some things that aren’t necessarily accurate. The scenes and the really hard scenes to watch, sadly, are very accurate. We were very very careful not to embellish or to get it as right as I can remember. But you know, this timeline… my dad had cancer about five years. In the movie it might come across that he has it for a couple. There just kind of mashing everything up to get as much information in and not be a 20-hour movie.
That being said, I got the opportunity — because I’m the guy that will Google whatever I can find on a true story, as soon as the credits roll, I want more about it. So when I got the chance to write the book, literally while the movie is being made, I jumped on it because it just gives me a chance to go into more detail about “Well, this is how it really happened… how long it was… this is where my brother was there… talk about my mom who in the movie leaves, and you don’t really see her again… just kind of explain that relationship which is another amazing redemption story. That being said, when we were working out the deal, I was like, “Man, I’ve always wanted to just be a part of a children’s book. I’ve got five kids.” My youngest was 5 at the time, and they’re like, “Well, great! Awesome! You know, we’re not sure how it’s going to be about abuse.” I was like, “No, no, no, no, no. I don’t want to be about this story, and I don’t want it to be about a child losing a loved one or a pet because we’ve had people approach us about that of all time. Nothing against that. It’s just, I wanted something that could speak to any kid. And so I said, “Man, what if it’s like…?” I mean, I have daughters, and I keep looking my daughters, especially, who will be watching something on TV, and I can see they’re being influenced by a commercial.
Are they skinny enough? Is their hair…? I see them comparing themselves to what the world says they should be. So I’ve gone to great lengths to tell them: “You are so beautiful in the eyes of Christ. And He loves you as you are.” So the idea for the children’s book was from a kid’s perspective: “What would it be like if you could spend a day with Jesus?”
“You are so beautiful in the eyes of Christ. And He loves you as you are.” – Bart Millard
The ideas is, by the end, to say, “You are walking with him daily. It’s not, ‘Okay, this day is coming.’” Kind of like sometimes people take “I Can Only Imagine.” The idea is that He’s with you nonstop, and that He loves you right where you are. So that was my goal was for it to be this kind of self-esteem booster and just make them realize that, “Hey, all this crazy stuff you’re saying… Jesus is with you right now. This is not a fairytale.”It wasn’t until I became a parent and a husband did I realize, “Man, this stuff is deep in me.” Like, just the way that I would react to stuff and the way that I would treat my children sometimes. Or maybe I would have a short fuse or whatever. And I could see myself going, “Oh, man.” Just this fear of like, “Could I be like he was?” And it really scared me. I didn’t want to live in fear like that. That’s not my identity.
So going through counseling is what literally, not only save my marriage, but it saved my life. Just understanding that that’s not who I am and being able to kind of break that chain of abuse. So when people ask, “How would you encourage others?” I say, “I’m 100 percent onboard for godly counseling and just being able to talk to someone.” I think the thing the enemy wants more than anything is for us to be in isolation and to think that we can do it ourselves which is the absolute worst place to be.
“…going through counseling is what literally, not only saved my marriage, but it saved my life.” – Bart Millard
Christ Loves You, No Matter What
Jesus Calling has been a big part of my adult life with my wife, and we’ve gone through so many transformations. I grew up in a very legalistic system, if you will, growing up. And really, maybe because of how I’ve been trying to please my dad my whole life, I just kind of transferred that to God to where I felt like I had this holy to-do list of things that I had to fulfill. If I could spin enough plates and jump through enough hoops then maybe God would see the good more than the bad. I mean, it’s why I started a band and became the overachiever. I was probably 40 when I just hit a wall and said, “I can’t do it anymore. There’s got to be more to this than just being better than other people at this. That’s when I think I realized… not to mention, we’re at the height of our success. And you feel like at times my family is hanging on by a thread because I wasn’t present and just going through depression of losing a loved one and a lot of things just kind of kind of happened the same time. I just wanted to quit. Didn’t want to be a professional Christian anymore and stand on stage and talk about this every night. We were just finishing an album called The Hurt and the Healer, and I was done. I didn’t want to do it anymore. And a dear friend of mine came into my life to remind me. He’s like, “Hey, man. Just in case you’ve forgotten… I know you work really hard, but there’s nothing you can do to make Christ love you any more than He already does right now. And so maybe, just maybe, you should stop what you’re doing and actually rest in a finished work of the cross.
“…there’s nothing you can do to make Christ love you any more than He already does right now.” – Bart Millard
We were first given Jesus Calling when we got married in 1997. My wife has gone through Jesus. We went through it early on in our marriage. It was like between this and My Utmost for His Highest. That’s all we kind of clinged to for quite a while, especially before we had kids. And we may have clinged to it more when we had kids because that’s when we needed it the most.
It’s definitely a God thing to where there is multiple times where it is just uncanny how there will be days where it’s exactly what I need to hear. I know that can sound vague and like, “Oh, of course. Like, have a good day.” But I’m like, “You don’t understand.” Some of these days in this devotional, for me, felt very specific. It’s gotten me through a lot. You know, sometimes the enemy gets the best of you on a daily basis. He never lets up.
And you know, sometimes you have to go the hard route to figure out what it means to hide the Word in your heart and set your mind on things above. And I definitely have the Word of God, but I think this definitely falls into the category of setting your mind on things above for sure.
“…sometimes you have to go the hard route to figure out what it means to hide the Word in your heart and set your mind on things above.” – Bart Millard
This one’s from August 20th.
“I’m a God who heals. I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts broken lives, and broken relationships. My very presence has immense healing powers. You cannot live close to Me without experiencing some degree of healing. However, it is also true that you have not because you ask not. You receive the healing that flows naturally from My presence whether you seek it or not, but there is more… much more, available to those who ask. The first step in receiving healing is to live ever so close to Me. The benefits of this practice are too numerous to list. As you grow more and more intimate with Me, I reveal My will to you more directly. When the time is right, I prompt you to ask for healing of some brokenness in you or in another person. The healing may be instantaneous or it may be a process. That is up to Me. Your part is to trust Me fully and thank me for the restoration that has begun. I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person’s life. Even my servant Paul was told, ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ when he sought healing for the thorn in his flesh. Nonetheless, much healing is available to those whose lives are intimately interwoven with mine. Ask and you will receive.” – Jesus Calling
That speaks volumes to me even now because of a couple of things. I love how sometimes we tend to think that it’s on us. Even reading “There’s so much more if you ask.” Even the task of asking… It’s like, “Okay, wait a minute, is that on me or whatever? But then I love the next thing. It says, “And when you do, I’ll show you when it’s time to be healed, and it’s not something that’s I guess, in a sense, our responsibility because it’s not about us. The cross was enough. And Christ is one that does this because sometimes I think we fall into that bit of works if you will. There’s so many things we’ve got to do, and we’re earning this, and that’s not the case at all. And so, yeah, that resonates on multiple levels, not only with the obvious story of “I Can Only Imagine” and my dad but as a parent. I mean, I’m still writing songs that kind of revolve around the concept because my my oldest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 2 — he’s 16 now — and we just wrote a song called “Even If.” It’s all about having a really bad day and just continuing to be reminded that our lives revolve around this dumb illness, and I love the part about how may not heal at all.
“The cross was enough.” – Bart Millard
Suffering Can Be a Gift
To me, I would say that suffering is almost a gift because, even with the movie, when they first wanted to make the movie, I said, “Look. We have to show how bad he was so that the redemption part of the story is not watered down. I want them to appreciate that to where even the non-believer says, ‘This guy is a monster and this is changing him. Something supernatural’s taking place.’” It’s like our point was always to make sure that it points back to the gospel and that Jesus is one that changed my dad and nothing that he did. This definitely resonates with kind of the season I’m in, not only from the movie, but just being a parent and being a husband and having to be reminded every day that it’s never been about the stuff that I do. Thank God.
“Jesus is one that changed my dad – nothing that he did.” – Bart Millard
I got way consumed with trying to please Him instead of trust Him. And I got to that point. I was like, “You got to be impressed with me God. I’m juggling all this stuff at the same time. I’m way better than the rest of them.” But it felt like I was losing everything around me that was dear to me. And I thought at the time that I was definitely quitting the band. Like, “You just told me, ‘Stop what I’m doing. Rest in the finished work of the cross.’ I’m heading the right direction.” And then the craziest thing happened. My wife and I would say that we got to a point in a healthy way of just not caring about what maybe the record label or radio people thought we should do because my identity was the MercyMe machine. It’s like trying to follow a hit like “I Can Only Imagine” for your career and don’t derail it. So many families are dependent on you and stuff like that, and I was just done with it. We got to a point where we didn’t care. We’re like, “You know what. This this stuff isn’t important. This is an overflow of a healthy relationship with Christ. If that’s not happening, then what are we doing.” So I really thought I was going to quit. Well, the crazy thing is that in not caring, we started falling in love with music again… the whole band. We cut our shows in half. We moved to Nashville just so I could be home with my family more. We got out of debt. Sold our buses and everything and just thought we were going to kind of ride off into the sunset.
“I got way consumed with trying to please Him instead of trust Him.” – Bart Millard
And all of a sudden, when we stopped caring about what we thought people wanted to hear from us and started making music that we just absolutely love, we felt like we were 15 starting a band again.
The last two albums Welcome to the New in Life are kind of that after that new perspective of the Gospel, if you will. And it’s been unbelievable. It’s been the greatest journey. There’s no way I could be talking about this movie and these other things if we weren’t where we are right now. And so whoever’s listening, if I could just encourage them, it would be the same thing that set me off and changed the whole trajectory of my life. It is being reminded there’s nothing you can do to make Christ love more than He already does.
“..the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells inside of me” – Bart Millard
I lived as if I was a bad person trying to be good only to realize that, not because of anything I’ve done, but because the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells inside of me. That who I actually am is I’m holy and righteous and redeemed. And the most mind boggling thing of all is understanding that if Christ is in you, that on your worst possible day you somehow remain holy is a game changer for me because I can honestly say I don’t think I really bought into that for most of my life. It’s never been about what we do. If it is, I better die on a good day, but I don’t think that’s the case.
“…if Christ is in you, that on your worst possible day you somehow remain holy is a game changer for me because I can honestly say I don’t think I really bought into that for most of my life.” – Bart Millard
His desire is for us to enjoy every second of our life, through the good and the bad, and live a Spirit-led life to where it’s like every second is an adventure.
Narrator: Bart’s movie, I Can Only Imagine, is in theaters for a limited time. Look for the DVD version of the movie coming soon to a retailer near you. For more information regarding Bart’s book about his life and his children’s book, please visit BartMillard.org.
Narrator: We’ll continue with the Jesus Calling podcast after this brief message about a free offer from Jesus Calling.
Calendar commercial: Are you looking for a way to keep track of your daily prayers along with Jesus Calling? The Jesus Calling family prayer calendar goes right along with your daily readings from Jesus Calling. Each day begins with a guided reflection, followed by a space for you to fill in your prayers of thanksgiving and special requests. You can get your free Jesus Calling Family Prayer calendar by visiting, JesusCalling.com/offers. Visit JesusCalling.com/offers to download your free Family Prayer calendar today.
Paul: Apostle of Christ
Narrator: Jim Caviezel is a highly acclaimed actor who came to prominence after his groundbreaking performance as Jesus in the blockbuster movie The Passion of the Christ. Jim has gone on to choose thoughtful and inspirational roles that speak to his deep faith as a Christian, and has had commercial success in both the faith-based and mainstream entertainment world. He speaks to us today about a new movie he stars in called “Paul….” and gives us some background on his faith filled journey through hollywood.
I got into the acting business when I was about 19 years old, and I came to Hollywood at age 22 and kicked around for about 10 years, and I landed a role in The Thin Red Line and that changed my life.
Mel Gibson saw The Thin Red Line and Count of Monte Cristo and came to me to play the role of Jesus. That took my life in a completely different direction.
So many people, when they saw The Passion, were drawn very close to Jesus, and many people were repelled from Him.
I don’t think it’s so much the violence, but when people talk about personal relationship with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there’s nothing more personal than having to be there like his mother was and to watch your own son have to die like that.
Many religious stories and many comedies and many dramas are terribly written and don’t have a good substance there that are worth playing. Most — especially religious films — are told in a way that don’t even represent a lot of what I have read in scripture and don’t give us a true authentic look in who Jesus is or the Apostle Paul.
There’s a lot of writings of the Apostle Paul and what writings are you going to put in? Are you going to hammer someone over the head? We were asked many times by way of analogy, are we putting a square peg into a circular hole?
The director, Andrew Hyatt, wrote a tremendous script that I thought was worth telling, and that is why it is the first movie that I had done since The Passion. And believe you me, there is a controversy in this as there was in The Passion of the Christ. In The Passion of the Christ the controversy was love, and this one it is a part of love, but it is ardent love. It is forgiveness. . . forgiving at all costs.
“…forgiveness. . . forgiving at all costs.” – Jim Caviezel
Suffering is not natural. Anything that hurts us physically, we want to avoid, right? If you put your hand on a hot substance or fire… something that’s fire or that’s hot… you pull your hand away because it hurts. But there are things, for example, if you want to be a great athlete, there’s no pill you can take. You have to physically have sore muscles day in and day out. It’s when you start realizing, “Hey, there’s a benefit to this soreness. Every time I get really sore, a few days later, I get stronger.” And so you start to welcome the suffering because you know you’re going to get better. It’s the same way in our faith. The authenticity of our faith comes by the way of the cross.
“The authenticity of our faith comes by the way of the cross.” – Jim Caviezel
What It Means to Be A Christian
My friend Frank was like Saint Paul to me. He was my mentor. So I saw myself
in that relationship. And Frank had just died going into this. So it was a personal experience that I had to delve into it. It hurt, but again we go back into the way of the suffering of the cross, and out of that will be good. And actually, in this case, will be great. The other part was that Luke reminded me of many of the people here in the industry that don’t know anything about God. They have never read the scripture or anything but have been lost. And Luke is the guy who’s got his life made. You know, he’s a doctor. He’s successful, and for whatever reason, he saw Paul in the film and says, “When I saw you preach, I saw Christ in you.”
They say they’ll know that you are Christians by your love, but many of us don’t. And I think it has to do with the fact that we don’t pray from the heart. We pray in the head. We give lip service rather than soul service.
“They say they’ll know that you are Christians by your love, but many of us don’t.” – Jim Caviezel
Narrator: Jim was introduced to Jesus Calling by a friend. He compares how Sarah’s writings and his new movie both represent how God uses His people to speak to us and share the love that Christ wants to show us all.
Someone brought me the book. It came like one time, and then I saw another person had it. I just know when I hear His voice. I know people will feel loved. It’s the authenticity of our faith. It comes by the way of the cross.
It’s a great seed planter. That’s what people will take away.
Narrator: To find out more about Paul: Apostle of Christ, please visit PaulMovie.com
Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling podcast, we speak with professional golfers, George and Wesley Bryan, also known in the golf world as “The Bryan Brothers.” The Bryan Brothers earned their place in the world of golf by being skilled golfers who specialize in trick shots. They talk about what it’s like to rise up in the world of golf at such a young age and how their faith in God keeps them both grounded.
Bryan Brothers Excerpt: I put my value in how good I played on the golf course. If I played bad, I was like, “Man, everyone hates me. I’m such an idiot. I’m a failure.” So I had this up and down… If I played good, I was great. But after getting saved and really following Jesus more closely, I learned that golf and money and all this earthly stuff doesn’t really matter. Once you put that in perspective, it really helped me be a better human.
Narrator: Do you love hearing great stories of faith each week via the Jesus Calling Podcast? We want to hear from you. If you haven’t already subscribed to the Jesus Calling Podcast, visit the Jesus Calling page at iTunes.com and hit the subscribe button. While you’re there, we’d love for you to leave us a review and tell us how you feel about the show and what future guests you’d love to see. Your reviews and subscription help us share these stories of faith to more people who need the hope and encouragement of Jesus Calling. If you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Visit JesusCalling.com to share your story today!