A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Read Romans 16.

Paul’s parting words to the church in Rome disclose three important characteristics of an authentic disciple of Jesus: Christians love one another, protect the Truth, and give thanks to God.

Love one another. Most of Paul’s letters end by emphasizing the importance of participating in genuine, loving relationships with fellow believers. From the list of names in Romans 16, we see the apostle cared deeply about each individual person (not just the church as a whole) and no doubt prayed for the believers of the cities he visited by name. 

Protect the Truth. Paul also understood we can’t properly love people if we don’t also love Truth. That’s why we must protect Truth and stand against the greatest harm to the Christian community—the undermining of God’s Word. As believers, we must allow the Bible to have authority over our lives. When we give Scripture its proper place, it will weed out any false teaching that threatens to take our eyes off Jesus.

Give thanks to God. Like Paul, whose gratefulness for his salvation and sanctification is apparent in each of his epistles, we too must readily praise God for our redemption and renewal. As authentic disciples, we must daily thank our Lord not only for calling us, but for transforming us day by day into people who reflect our glorious Savior Jesus Christ.

Prayer: God, thank You for Your grace and compassion for me, a sinner. I praise You for the wonder of Your love displayed through Jesus Christ and the precious gift of salvation. May You be glorified eternally! I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (Romans 16:19).

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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