A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Do you find yourself constantly troubled by your sin? Have you created lines in the sand, rules that you feel you must follow to be “good enough”? When we strive to earn God’s acceptance, we are depriving ourselves of the freedom and contentment that Christ has won for us. We are depriving ourselves of the true Gospel of grace, shackling ourselves with legalism and elevating our rules to the same importance as God’s commandments--whether our rules involve moralistic guidelines, worship etiquette, or additional conditions to salvation.

 

No matter how well-intentioned our manmade rules may be, they are inferior to God’s commandments. When we follow our faulty human thinking instead of God’s perfect ways, we will find ourselves headed for discontentment.

 

We can never live up to our own harsh standards, and every time we fail, we lose another piece of our joy. Only God’s grace gives us the peace of salvation--not God’s grace plus our church attendance or our charitable activities or who we associate with.

 

Jesus did it all on the cross. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

 

Has a legalistic mindset shifted your focus from God’s grace to manmade rituals and rules?

 

Prayer: Father, I realize how easy it is for me to fall into the trap of legalism. Thank You for Your grace. Help me to be on guard against legalism in my life, allowing You to sanctify me from the inside out instead of trying to change myself from the outside in. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).


Check out more from 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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