A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Today we see many parents working hard to ensure their children fit in with their peers—spending beyond their means to provide the latest fashions and trendy technology for their children. They even compromise their standards to help their children blend in with the crowd. These parents have listened to the lie that being different is bad and unhealthy. Consequently, the next generation is being taught how to conform to peer pressure and is missing the vital lesson of how to stand against the culture.

We often praise God that we live in a free country when, in reality, we are enslaved to conformity. We are enslaved to fads, fashions, and trends. We are enslaved to what others think of us. We are terrified to be different. What kind of freedom is that?

One of the greatest lies we believe is that it is better to be accepted by the group than to stand alone for being different. Yet being different is one of the core attributes of God Himself. God is holy. He is different and set apart from all His creation. We cannot compare Him to anyone or anything else. Our human goodness can never reach anywhere near God’s perfection. God said, “‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One” (Isaiah 40:25).

God wants all His children to be different just like He is different. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). God calls us to be different from the world, to stand against the immorality of our culture, to set ourselves apart from the secular.

Prayer: God, thank You for making me truly free. Thank You that as I stand for You, differentiating myself from the culture around me, I honor and glorify You. May Your holiness in me draw the lost to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

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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