A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Read Romans 14.

If Paul is emphasizing one thing in Romans 14, he is pleading with believers to major on the majors and minor on the minors. As Christians filled with the Holy Spirit, we have liberty to exercise our judgment concerning practices that aren’t expressly restricted in the Bible or essential for righteous and holy living.

When our eyes are fixed on pleasing the Lord above everything else in life, we will naturally pursue righteousness—and we won’t waste our time focusing on the social habits of others. That doesn’t mean looking the other way at blatant sin, but in matters of Christian liberty—clothing, food, and certain practices, like smoking, drinking alcohol (not in excess), or other amusements—we shouldn’t become legalistic and create rules for behavior that aren’t in the Bible.

The enemy wants to distract us with small issues that create unnecessary division in the church. Beloved, let’s not waste a single minute or ounce of energy fighting the saints. Let’s use all our ammunition to defeat sin and temptation in our lives. Let’s turn our weapons toward the enemy of our souls. Let’s focus on what’s important to God—the heart, not outward appearances. And let’s faithfully exercise our liberty by seeking His will through prayer and His Word.

Prayer: God, help me to focus on pleasing You today. May I dwell on whatever is true, noble, excellent, or praiseworthy to be an encouragement to others and to follow after You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand” (Romans 14:4).

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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