A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

For hundreds of years, artists have portrayed Mary the mother of Jesus as a beautiful woman. But the Bible never mentions her physical appearance. However Mary may have looked on the outside, her true beauty came from within: from her holiness, her humility, and her desire to serve God at any cost.

 

Likewise, we are truly beautiful when we respond in humility and awe to the fact that we are treasured and loved by the God who created the entire universe. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, and He has adopted us into His family to be co-heirs with Christ. That is the amazing news of the Gospel that defines our worth and inspires quiet confidence in us—we belong to God.

 

In today’s culture, people want to emulate the successful. They are intimidated by the powerful and awestruck by the famous. Yet, God despises the proud and uplifts the humble. Scripture tells us that “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble” and “He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed” (Luke 1:52 and Proverbs 3:34). God uses the pure in heart, the unknown, the meek. God uses people like Mary for His work in the world because they know to whom all the glory and honor belong: Almighty God.

 

Despite what the world tells us, it is not outward appearances—our circumstances, surroundings, achievements, or material blessings—that grant us worth. Our worth is found in God. The deeper and richer our relationship with Him, the more beautiful we become, for then we become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Are you seeking physical beauty or spiritual beauty? Are you seeking success and self-worth based on the world’s standards or God’s standards? What worldly lies have tricked you into seeking worth outside of God?

 

Prayer: Father, thank You for loving me and for reminding me that my true beauty comes from within through Your Spirit, that my worth is found in You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

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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