A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

At Christmas, we celebrate one of the most incredible events in all of history—God sending His Son Jesus to earth. But why was God’s sacrifice even necessary? Why did Jesus come from heaven?

 

Read Colossians 2:13-15. God tells us through Paul that before Jesus, we were dead in our sin. Praise God that, on the cross, Jesus bore our sins and died to ransom us, cancelling the charges that were held against us. In cancelling the legal charges that we faced, Jesus disarmed any claim Satan could rightfully have on us as the author of sin. We are forgiven for our sins, and the roaring lion has no grip on our lives. Jesus did all of that for us.

 

Even though that’s worth celebrating every day until He returns, that’s not all that Jesus did for us. God is lavish with His goodness. Paul goes on to explain in Colossians 2:13 that “when you were dead in your sins . . . God made you alive with Christ.”

 

When Jesus died, our sinful nature died with Him. But, as Paul says, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Romans 6:8). When Jesus rose from the dead, He resurrected our hearts too—to live a life to God. You have been raised to live a new life in Jesus! And to do that, we are to “count [ourselves] dead to sin but alive to God” (Romans 6:11).

 

Instead of doing whatever it takes to prove our own worth—because that’s all we could do in our sin nature—Jesus has freed us to live fully in God’s love. Instead of worrying about how our needs are going to be met and living a life of anxiety—because that’s all we could do in our sin nature—Jesus has freed us to live fully in the Truth that our Father God will provide for us.

 

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the chains of sin that kept us captive have been broken. We can now live alive to God’s love and His goodness all the time. Jesus gave us that gift in His death and resurrection—and what a precious gift that is.

 

Prayer: Father God, teach me how to live dead to sin but alive to You. Show me any areas where I am putting on old broken chains. Thank You for raising me to new life. You are so good. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:4).

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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