A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Adam and Eve owned up to their sin, and they regretted the break in their relationship with God. However, this was not true for their son Cain.

The story of Cain and Abel is familiar to us, as is the defiant question Cain asked God: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9).

Cain’s anger led him to murder his own brother. He was angry that God accepted Abel’s offering while rejecting his own. Cain had brought an offering to the Lord from his harvest, and Abel had also brought an offering, the firstborn from his flock. The brothers’ offerings were consistent with their occupations: Cain tilled the ground, and Abel raised sheep. Outwardly, both brothers seemed to be performing a righteous act. But Cain wanted to approach God on his own terms.

The Bible doesn’t specify how either brother knew whether God accepted or rejected his offering, but it is clear that they understood the outcome: “The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast” (Genesis 4:4-5). God issued a stern warning, telling Cain that sin was lying in wait for him. But God also offered mercy, making it clear that if Cain did what was right, he would be accepted. Cain refused to heed God’s warning. Instead, he enticed his younger brother into a field where he beat him to death.

Cain denied his sin. When God confronted him, Cain said he knew nothing about his brother’s murder. As punishment, Cain had to leave the land of Eden and became “a restless wanderer on the earth” (Genesis 4:12).

Like Cain, many people today are running from God, but running from God will never alleviate the guilt of sin. Only one remedy exists, and that is found in facing up to our shortcomings. The way to deal with sin and guilt is through confession and repentance.

Prayer: Lord, there have been times when I have run from You. I have hidden from You because of my sin and guilt. I am tired of living apart from Your love and protection. Today, I choose to receive Your grace and live in Your love. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1).

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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