A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

There are two types of grace described in the Bible. Theologians refer to the first form as “common grace.” Common grace, or mercy, is the undeserved goodness that God freely gives to all human beings.


Jesus spoke of this kind of grace when He said that God the Father “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). Everyone is permitted to enjoy the goodness of God’s creation, whether they love Him or not.


The second form of grace is called “special grace.” This is a grace that God gives to all who accept the gift of salvation through Jesus. When you receive Jesus as your only Savior and Lord and when God receives you in His open, loving arms, you will experience “special grace” from God. It’s the grace that calms our fears, erases our guilt, and gives meaning to our lives.


Many people mistake God’s grace for leniency or permissiveness. They seem to think the Lord looks upon our sin with a kind of easy-going tolerance, saying, “Oh well, they sinned again, but it’s not really such a bad sin. I’ll just look the other way and pretend not to notice.”


But that’s not how His grace works. God does not wink at sin. If you think He simply lets our sins slide unnoticed, you are making the same mistake Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden and the same mistake Cain made when he killed his brother in the field. Each of them thought they could sin and God wouldn’t notice. They were wrong—and there was a price to pay.


Grace is neither lenient nor permissive. Grace is not free, nor is it cheap. Grace is the costliest, most precious commodity in the universe. It cost God the infinitely precious lifeblood of His only Son.


Prayer: Father, thank You for common grace and special grace. Help me to understand more deeply the cost of that special grace. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.


“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Check out more from Dr. 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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