Read Ezekiel 48:30-35.

The prophet Ezekiel wrote while in exile far from his home in Judah. It was a dark time for God’s people, who had been taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and yet Ezekiel spoke about a glorious future. Dry bones would rattle and come to life, flesh would be restored, and the breath of life would fill newly formed lungs. God’s plan of redemption was not over.

Ezekiel also had a vision of a rebuilt Jerusalem, a new temple, and a city that will go by a new name: Yahweh Shammah, or “the Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35). The most important feature of the new holy city will be God’s presence. Revelation tells us this city is where the story of redemption will end—with God once again dwelling with His people (see Revelation 21:3).

But we don’t have to wait for the end of history. God is Yahweh Shammah right now! If you know Jesus, the Lord is with you today, wherever you are. Through His Spirit, His presence resides within you. You are a temple of God, and you can live every day of your life in His glorious presence. Though at times He may seem distant, we have the assurance of God’s Word that He is with us and will never forsake us. And, one day, He will gather His people to a new heavenly city where we will enjoy His presence forever.

Prayer: God, Your presence is my peace. You are my great reward. Thank You that I will live in Your presence forever as Your child. Thank You for the gift of Your glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).

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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