A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

“God so loved the world . . .” (John 3:16). You cannot find a statement like this in any other religion. They all say, “Strive harder; try harder,” and you don’t have a clue whether you are accepted or not. But our God is a loving God, a giving God, a sacrificing God. Our God is the most humble—the infinite, holy one who reaches down to us in love. And that is the wonder that we celebrate at Christmas: God came down to us.

The incredible, incomprehensible love of the God of the Bible sets Christianity far apart from any other religion. This love doesn’t come from anything outside of God because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God loves because it is His nature to love; it is His essence. God’s love flows from the spring of infinity. There is no computation that could ever measure it. That is why one of the smallest words in the English language is used to express this divine love: so. God so loved the world. You can’t explain it, describe it, or even fathom it. There is nothing loveable or attractive in us, nothing endearing about us, but He loves us.

God so loved that, in the fullness of time, He did the unthinkable, the impossible, the incomprehensible, the undoable: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, . . .” (John 3:16). 

Prayer: Lord, Your humility is mind-blowing. Help me see the magnitude of Your sacrifice that I might truly be humbled before You. I rejoice in Your love, the gift of Your Son. You are my salvation, my fortress, my reward. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, . . .” (John 3:16a).

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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