A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Our culture most certainly recognizes Christmas as the season of giving. Believers and unbelievers alike see it as a time of gifting, celebrating, and gathering with friends and family—a time when we overload our schedules with events and obligations, when we make lists and worry about the right gift or about having to get another gift. In the midst of all the bustle, for many, it’s also a time of depression, loneliness, despondency, and discouragement. Why? Because we buy into the message of our secular, commercialized culture that turns Christmas into a carnival—a time of superficial indulgence—rather than the deeply satisfying, soul-awakening celebration it truly is.

The holy God, who is from everlasting to everlasting (see Psalm 90:2), who does not need anything from us, not praise nor love nor sacrifices (see Acts 17:24-25), created the universe from the outpouring of His love, which has existed from eternity between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He made us to enjoy Him—to partake of His divine love and enjoy abundant life in His presence. And when, in the Garden of Eden, humanity rejected Him—God was yet faithful, promising a Savior to redeem mankind to Himself. Christmas is the celebration of the fulfillment of this incredible promise of grace and love. Jesus, God the Son, emptied Himself and was born as a baby to die on a cross to give you His glory forever. Let us celebrate.

Prayer: Father, thank You that though I and all humanity rejected You, You pursued us out of Your love. There is no love like Yours. I am in awe that the holy God would come for me. Help me worship You in this season and more deeply celebrate the wonder of Christmas, when God came down. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25).

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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