The summary of the Christian faith is this: Because God loved so much, He gave so much. Love brought Jesus down to us so that those who respond to His incredible love will be saved. When God gave His Son, it was to provide an escape from the torment of hell because salvation is His desire.

God longs for everyone to believe and turn to Him (see 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23, 32). God will forgive anyone who comes to Him for forgiveness in Jesus’ name; there is no sin for which the blood of Jesus cannot atone. No matter how low you may have sunk in your own eyes, God welcomes you if you will receive His gift of grace in humility and gratitude, recognizing that you are unworthy and undeserving of His love. “[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Who are the saved? Whoever believes in Jesus (see John 3:16). God welcomes and will give everlasting life to everyone who sets their hope in the Son of God.

That’s what Christmas is all about—the Good News that love brought Jesus down from heaven and that your submission to that love will take you up to heaven with Him. Jesus gave up His glory to pay our ransom—to take the punishment each one of us should have paid ourselves. And by His blood, He clothes us eternally in His glory.

Prayer: Jesus, You are full of mercy and grace. Though I am full of sin, You have ransomed me. Though I was Your enemy, You have clothed me in Your righteousness as a child of God. I want to live for You, Lord, as a child of the King. May I worship You rightly this Christmas—living as Your ambassador to show those around me Your love and glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“. . . he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon For God So Loved the World: LISTEN 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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