Read Jeremiah 23:5-8.

In Jeremiah’s day, righteousness had fallen by the wayside. The leaders of Judah were corrupt. The people sinned against God with reckless abandon. Even the priests had turned away from the Lord. Judgment was on its way. Before long, the people would be taken into exile, the city of Jerusalem would be conquered, and the temple of God would be reduced to rubble. But in this season of steep decline, Jeremiah preached the Truth and told the people that, despite their wickedness, God would bring them back to the Promised Land and give them a new King. He would be the Messiah and would be called “The Lord Our Righteous Savior” (Jeremiah 23:6).

Our day isn’t all that different from Jeremiah’s. Righteousness seems just as unpopular. The troubling messages coming from the media and celebrity culture leave many people unable to discern between right and wrong. But those of us who know Jesus never have to wonder; all we have to do is look to Him. Everything He does is righteous and good. In fact, He is perfect righteousness; He is Yahweh Tsidkenu, our righteousness. Were we to spend a million lifetimes trying to do good works, it would never be enough to earn us the right to stand before God. But Jesus gives us His righteousness. It’s ours, completely free, without striving or struggling. All we have to do is surrender our filthy rags to Him, and He will clothe us in radiant white.

Prayer: God, all Your ways are right. You are good. There is no darkness in You, and so You are worthy of all praise. Thank You for giving me Your righteousness. Thank You for making me new. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior” (Jeremiah 23:6).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Empowered by Praise: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

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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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