A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Every one of us is called by God to be a part of His global mission: making disciples of all nations. Yet many of us think that we are too weak or unskilled to leave a lasting impact on the world. But God can use even the most unlikely of people to accomplish His purposes.

 

In 2 Kings 7:3-20, God used just such people--not the rich, powerful, or eloquent, but the despised, rejected, and isolated. In this passage of Scripture, the entire city of Jerusalem was starving, under siege by the Syrian army. But four lepers, removed from society because of their disease, had even fewer provisions than their starving neighbors. They decided that they had no choice but to throw themselves on the mercy of the invading army (see 2 Kings 7:4). 

 

The lepers left Jerusalem hoping for bread crumbs, but when they arrived at the Syrian camp they discovered something incredible: there was no foreign army. The lepers and all of Jerusalem had been delivered by God. Yet the people within the city’s walls were completely unware--still living as if they were under siege.

 

God specializes in using the least likely people to be His messengers. When the lepers found themselves alone in the Syrian camp, they began to lay up provision for themselves. But when they realized their ability to do good, they said, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. . . . Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace” (2 Kings 7:9).

 

How often do we rejoice in the blessing of our salvation without extending that blessing to others? Just like the four lepers, we also must go and declare to a dying world the reality that the enemy has fled--Satan himself has been defeated by Christ’s powerful work on the cross. This Good News is infinitely more important than the good news of the lepers, and it is the very Gospel of Jesus Christ. How could we ever keep such glorious news to ourselves?

 

As we see throughout Biblical history, it is often the least likely of messengers who are the most effective witnesses for Christ--for it is not our spiritual résumé, but our dependence on Christ, that qualifies us for His work.

 

Prayer: Lord, may I be a willing vessel, a simple jar of clay, containing the treasure of Your Gospel to pour out unto others for their good and Your glory. May I remember that it is not me, the messenger, who is important, but it is Your life-giving message that must go forth. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Check out more from Dr. 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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