In the parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-32), we learned yesterday that the love of the father drove him to extreme measures just to demonstrate his love for his son.

In the father’s willingness to humiliate himself, we see the image of the cross. God was willing to humble Himself to come to earth, not as a king but as a lowly servant to mankind. The God of the universe was willing to be spat on, disrespected, and crucified to draw us home again to His loving arms. Though He had the power to control the very tides and stars, He gave us the freedom to stay in the far country or come home again to live in the security of His love and protection.

Some people today are indifferent to God, almost as if He were dead. But God is very much alive and present whether you acknowledge Him or not. He longs for us to live in close fellowship with Him every day.

This Easter, consider if you are respecting your heavenly Father. Some people take all the resources and blessings of God to spend selfishly on sin and pleasure. In the process, they lose their most precious blessing—a relationship with the Father.

Prayer: Father, I pray that You would reveal to me if I have become distant from You. Reveal any hardness or dissatisfaction in my heart. Help me to return to You, knowing that You are always there ready to run to meet me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Need Good News?, Part 5: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

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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