A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Sometimes when we are so sure we know how something is supposed to go together, we’ll stop reading the instructions and simply scan them for affirmation that we’re on the right track. That’s called reading into the text what you want to see—and, sadly, this pitfall may be the curse of our age when it comes to Bible reading.

I have known preachers who have just one favorite theme to preach. It doesn’t matter what book of the Bible they’re in, they’ll find it there. But that’s extremely dangerous. If we only see what we want to see in a text or if we think we already know it all and become puffed up in our knowledge, we’ll miss out on soul-satisfying messages from our Heavenly Father. We’ll fail to witness various aspects of His nature and examples of His amazing love, and we’ll fail to see our dire need for Him.

So, before we apply God’s Word to our lives, we must read what is actually written, seek to discover the original situation being addressed (put the text in its context), and dig into Scripture with the right study tools. I promise, it’s worth it.

And over all of this, let’s never fail to ask the Spirit of God for guidance.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, open my eyes so that I may see wonderful Truth from Your Word. Illuminate my mind so that I can learn what You want me to learn. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character . . . for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).

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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