A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Why did God plant the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden? Why was that tree planted in that perfect place, where Satan might use it as an object of temptation?

 

The tree was there to remind Adam and Eve that they were not their own. It was there to remind them that they were God’s own possession. The tree was there to remind them that they were accountable to God and that they could not escape judgment for the moral choices they made.

 

The tree was not placed there by accident. God deliberately placed that tree in the Garden of Eden. And there in that Garden, the first man, Adam, met temptation--and he was defeated by sin.

 

But thousands of years later, there was another Garden--the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Garden of Eden, Adam fell, and we all fell with him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was victorious, and all who belong to Him are victorious as well. In the Garden of Eden, the disobedience of one man caused sin to infect all of humanity. But in the Garden of Gethsemane, the obedience of one Man produced the antidote for sin.

 

In the Garden of Eden, Adam experienced death as a consequence of his rebellion. But in the Garden of Gethsemane, we all experience life--eternal life--by grace through faith. One tree in Eden defeated Adam, and another tree, the cross of Christ, defeated sin and Satan. One tree brought the knowledge of evil, but the other tree gave us power over evil, power over temptation, power over death, the power of salvation.

 

So the question is: Which tree do you look to? The tree by which humanity was tempted and fell? Or the tree by which God gave us eternal life?

 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your incredible love for us, Your creation. Thank You that You have made a way for us, though fallen, to be with You forever through the cross of Christ. May I always look to the precious gift of eternal life through Jesus so that I can live my life in submission to You with thanksgiving. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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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