When a young boy came running into the house after playing outside, his mother stopped him, asking, "What is on your right hand?"

"Oh, just a little mud," he replied.

"Are you planning to get it off your hand?" she asked.

"Sure, Mom, I'll just wipe it off with my other hand."

There was only one problem with the boy's plan. One dirty hand and one clean hand equal two dirty hands.

Many people are like this little boy. Deep down they are conscious of their sin and rebellion and of their need of cleansing, but they think they can clean themselves by doing some good deeds or charity work.

Just as the mother had to put her son's hands under running water to clean them, so you must put your life under the blood of Jesus Christ. Only the resurrected Christ can cleanse you from sin. Only the resurrected Christ can transform your destination from hell to heaven.

There is a need in each of us to do things for ourselves—to be self-reliant. If we have a problem, we want to fix it. If we want something, we try to get it. This need to be independent carries over into our relationship with Christ. But we soon discover that we cannot redeem ourselves from our sinful nature. We cannot work our way into God’s favor. We must come to Him in complete surrender and obedience, seeking His forgiveness for our sins.

Without Christ, our lives are meaningless and empty. Peter reminds us, "In [God's] great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3).

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ that, though my sins were as scarlet, has made me white as snow. Today I rest in Your salvation by grace, that I may be free and able to share this Good News with others. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series How Shall We Live Now?: 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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