A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Read Romans 13:1-10.

Without question, the moment you receive Christ, He transfers your citizenship to the Kingdom of heaven—and this is your ultimate identity, your ultimate allegiance. But even though we Christians no longer have our identity in this world, we are called to love God and our neighbor by humbly submitting to the authorities He has set in place for us.

In Romans 13, Paul emphasizes that it is out of love for God that today’s Christian will willingly obey the law of the land, pay taxes, and vote. By diligently serving in these ways, we love our neighbor, our community, our nation—we fulfill our “continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law” (v. 8). In fact, the Bible-believing Christian lives in perpetual spiritual indebtedness. Indebtedness to whom? To God!

Only God can give you the resources by which you can pay your debt to Him. Christ has paid our ransom and transferred to us His righteousness. He has poured into us His own Spirit, His own power to love and obey. He loves through us so that we can love others. And the wonder is that the more you love God, the more God pours into you, and the more He pours into you, the more you pay your debt of love to the glory of God. And for the citizen of heaven who longs to glorify His God and Savior, that debt becomes pure delight.

Prayer: God, I know I could never pay my debt to love You and love others. That is why You came to give me life—to give me a heart of flesh. Thank You for empowering me by Your Spirit to love You and others and find joy and peace therein. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).

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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