A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

It is no more natural today to exercise mercy than 2,000 years ago when Jesus pronounced these magnificent words. In Roman society, mercy indicated weakness—that you didn’t have the strength of a real Roman citizen. Today, our culture disdains mercy and glorifies brutality—or it takes the other extreme, promoting a cheap version of mercy that glosses over sin.

Jesus’ mercy is neither weak nor cheap. It doesn’t wink at sin or refuse to deal with wrongdoing. Jesus’ mercy flows from love and produces forgiveness. It does not ignore justice but is itself justice. It is not grounded upon sentimentality, but upon His blood poured out on the cross as payment for our sin. Because of God’s grace, mercy and justice meet at the cross.

Jesus is calling us to be conduits of His mercy to others. When you show mercy, when you reach out to others to meet their needs in compassion and with generosity and to build relationship in humility, you open your heart to receive mercy from the hand of God day after day. When you exercise mercy, you break the spiritual bondage that is stopping you from growing in grace, for when you show mercy, God’s Spirit is mercifully at work, transforming you into Christ’s likeness and making you fruitful for the Kingdom of God. Thus, it truly is the merciful who receive mercy.

Prayer: Lord, may I remember the mercy I have received and give thanks every day. May the mercy I have been given make me merciful in turn—eager to forgive and bearing the cost of that forgiveness. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

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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