A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

The Bible says that out of pure love, God gave. What did He give? A token of Himself? Ten percent of Himself? A day out of His busy schedule? A few hours a day? A pittance of Himself? God’s Word tells us that when God loved, He gave His all. God’s love is not a partial love; it’s not an occasional love. God’s love is permanent and everlasting because loving is His essence. And because loving is His essence, giving is His nature.

Those who love much, give much. How do we measure the extent of someone’s love? It can only be measured by the degree of humble self-denial practiced in service to another. Anybody can say, “I love you,” but it is the degree of one’s sacrifice that demonstrates the depth of one’s love.

On that first Christmas, God demonstrated the depth of His love as He, the Holy One, gave the world His only begotten Son. When Jesus Christ entered creation, there was nothing in heaven left for God to give to humanity, for in Christ, He gave us everything. The divine one, who alone can satisfy, gave us Himself! Through Jesus our Savior, we are redeemed and adopted as children of God, as co-heirs with Christ, and promised an inheritance that will never spoil, perish, or fade (see Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:3-5). For, in Christ, we have life and glory eternally with God

Prayer: My God, I cannot comprehend the depth of Your love for me. Grant me power by Your Holy Spirit “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19). I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:15-16).

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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