A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Read Romans 15:23-33.

Paul had a clear God-given dream—to preach the Gospel where it had never been preached. His ultimate destination was the place that at the time was considered the edge of the world: Spain (see Romans 15:24). Scripture doesn’t say whether Paul made it or not. From God’s perspective, it doesn’t really matter.

When it comes to your dreams, God isn’t interested in the destination—the accomplishing of the dream—as much as He’s interested in your faithfulness along the journey. Moses dreamed of stepping foot in the Promised Land after leading God’s people out of Egypt and through the desert, but he died before entering Canaan. David dreamed of building a beautiful temple for God. Instead, he financed the project, while the actual building was completed by his son Solomon. From God’s perspective, these imperfect men succeeded because they faithfully sought His vision for their lives. Though they stumbled along the way, they trusted God, and there is no doubt that they received a greater blessing than they ever could have imagined.

There is a desperate need today for God’s people to endeavor to accomplish great things for Him. Beloved, the only way to do this is to begin on your knees. But be prepared—as Paul said, “Join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (v. 30)—for this journey is often agonizing, spiritually straining, and self-denying. Are you ready to fight for what God has placed in your heart?

Prayer: Father, reveal to me Your vision for my life. May I be faithful to Your call to be holy as You are holy as I pursue Your purposes for my life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30).

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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