A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

God’s Word is an instruction manual for living, one that we must all learn to read and follow. The problem is that a lot of people—myself included—like to skip the instructions and just start pushing buttons until something happens. But for the Bible to have maximum impact on your life, you must understand how to read it properly.

There are several common pitfalls in Bible reading that you must avoid. The first is proof-texting, which is taking the text out of its context. Another is reading a passage of Scripture literally when you should understand it figuratively, and vice versa. For example, when Jesus tells us, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away,” He is using Hebraic hyperbole to make a point (Matthew 5:29). He is telling us that we must not allow anything to get in the way of our relationship with God.

Other pitfalls include ignoring the historical and cultural context of the Biblical passage, trying to understand the Bible without the Holy Spirit, and failing to practically apply the Scriptures to your life. There is no end to the damage we can do to ourselves and others if we are unaware of these pitfalls and fail to guard against them. In order to understand God’s instruction manual rightly, we must read it prayerfully, carefully, and with ever-increasing understanding. Only then can we know the Truth that sets us free.

Prayer: God, help me to read Your Word with diligence and integrity. May I see more of who You are as I study, and may I be uplifted by Your wonder and beauty. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

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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