A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Read Matthew 5:1-12.

Today’s society would like us to believe Jesus’ teachings were for another time. But Jesus’ teachings are as startlingly relevant today as they were when He first spoke them—and they are still turning cultural norms upside-down. We live in a world broken with the sin of self-worship, where society reveres self-realization. But Jesus’ teachings are of a heavenly nature, unmarred by sin. He calls us to live holy lives of Christlike character, full of goodness and humility to prepare us for the culture of His eternal Kingdom.   

Secular culture says, “Happy are the rich—those who die with the most toys, for that makes life worthwhile,” but Jesus says, “Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness because you will truly be satisfied.” Society's pundits say, “Happy are you who get even, for this is a mean world,” but the Lord of all says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” While the cultural elite say, “Happy are you when you eliminate godly standards so that you can live your truth,” the Messiah says, “Blessed are you who are persecuted because of righteousness, for yours is the Kingdom of heaven.” 

Jesus’ counter-cultural, Kingdom-oriented teachings show us how to develop true character—character that even this broken world commends, though it struggles to understand it. This kind of character cannot be established in any life without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For, a life lived beautifully, one that lasts eternally, is the life that follows the narrow road after Christ. 

Prayer: Jesus, Your ways are matchless—fully satisfying and offering joy and peace that transcend understanding. Your ways are perfect; may I seek them whole-heartedly by the power of Your Spirit working in me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

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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