A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

In Genesis 13-19, we see the difference between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom embodied in Abraham and his nephew Lot. Once they separate at the crossroads in Canaan, the Bible says that Abraham built an altar to the Lord, but Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, a city whose people were living in great rebellion against God.

Lot may have thought, “A man like me is definitely not going to go over there. I’m just going to be near enough so that I can take a look at it. I want to admire it from a distance.” Yet day after day, he pitched his tent closer and closer to Sodom, following his own desires—the epitome of worldly wisdom.

Eventually, we see Lot progress to the final stage of compromise: “Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city” (Genesis 19:1). Lot is found at the entrance of Sodom, now a part of that miserable culture.

Contrast that with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says He was in the splendor and the glory of heaven, but, out of obedience to the Father, He came to earth and lived as the poorest of the poor.

Ask yourself: Am I like Lot, or am I like Jesus? Am I choosing to follow God’s will, or am I in the world and still of the world?

When we rely on our own reasoning and desires, we can rationalize anything we want—but when we treasure our relationship with Christ more than anything else, we will find that our desires are more and more aligned with His. Like Abraham, instead of inching closer and closer to a dangerous lifestyle, we will choose to build an altar to the Lord instead.

Prayer: Lord, I confess my sins before You and ask that You prepare my heart to receive Your Word. Help me to be a powerful witness in the world without becoming like the world. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

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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