A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Read Romans 15:14-22.

In our culture today, people are desperately searching for fulfillment through careers, finances, relationships, or false religion. But Paul tells us how to pursue fulfillment the right way—by following a God-given dream self-sacrificially and giving Him the glory the whole way.

The New Testament declares that every disciple of Jesus is a priest with a sacred calling on his or her life. In the Old Testament, priests were responsible for offering animal sacrifices for sin, pointing to the need for a Savior (see Hebrews 10:11-18). Today, our final, perfect sacrifice for sins has been made: Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Yet, we are still called “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). Why? Our job is still to point people to Christ, but our offerings are thank offerings. We joyfully sacrifice our time, talent, and treasures in proper worship to God, our Redeemer.

Whatever your vocation, God is calling you to perform your priestly duty to Him on a daily basis. Your priestly duty might be sacrificing your comfort to witness for Christ, serving your family, or giving sacrificially. Whatever it may be, let it be all for the glory of God out of the overflow of a grateful heart.

Paul accomplished so much for the sake of the Gospel, but he never took the credit. He said, “I glory in Christ Jesus; God did it all” (see Romans 15:17-19). May we share the same heart cry—to live a life of worship and adoration to the one who gave it all for us!

Prayer: God, You are my great reward. Help me to share this joy with those around me, pointing them as a priest to the glorious hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God” (Romans 15:16b-17).

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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