A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

When life begins to fall apart, we may realize that there was something we could have done differently. But often, we refuse to acknowledge this to the Lord and to others. While God does not want us to feel as though we need to confess every mistake to those around us, He does want us to take responsibility for our actions.

 

Far too often, we shift the responsibility off of ourselves and onto someone or something else. We blame others for our mistakes by claiming, “If only he or she had not made me do it.”

 

Yet, if we are truly responsible for an error, we must be willing to say, “Yes, I did that, and I want you to know that I am sorry and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that it will never happen again.” The last thing we need to do is to try to slide out from under a difficult situation by blaming others. Blame just does not work with God’s plan for our lives.

 

Jesus never said, “If you had not been so hard-headed, I could have avoided the cross.” He knew the responsibility God had given Him, and He was determined to be faithful. Through Him, we have been given eternal life. Therefore, we need to learn how to live as incredibly free men and women.

 

When we shift the blame to others so that we appear blameless, we are not really free at all. We are in bondage to the deed and to those whom we have betrayed and harmed. Forgiveness is a miraculous act whereby we come to God and confess the wrong we have done, and if need be, we are willing to say “I’m sorry” to those we have harmed.

 

Prayer: Lord, I want to live a free life--one that is only tied to You and not to the sins of this world. Teach me Your way that I may walk in it. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path . . .” (Psalm 27:11).

Check out more from Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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