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Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 02 Jun 2014, 8:11 pm

Monday, June 2, 2014
Leading the Way 


Week of June 2
Fear Not
What do you fear? You may have ongoing fears, such as the fear of abandonment, failure, or rejection. You may have new fears that are tied to current circumstances –the fear of losing your job or a relationship. Jesus told us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1).
Read Matthew 10:24-31. Three times in this passage, Jesus says “Fear not.” While the world around us slips into panic, Jesus says not to live like them. We have no reason to allow fear to intimidate or defeat us. What reasons does Jesus give us for not fearing the people and circumstances of this world?
We ought not to fear, as truth will ultimately triumph: “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs” (Matthew 10:26,27).
Today we see the truth silenced for political correctness, avoiding criticism, popularity and even keeping peace. Yet those of us who have trusting fellowship with God have no reason to fear. We know that ultimately truth will triumph. In the end, wickedness will be judged and righteousness will be exalted.
We cannot allow the fear of ridicule or rejection to deter us from speaking God’s truth in love to those who need to hear it. “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.’ But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:13-15).
We are to fear not because heaven is our destination: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
We may pay a price for standing firm on the truth of the Word of God and for speaking out about God’s only plan of salvation. No matter what taunts, alienations or persecutions we face from others, they can never destroy our eternal soul. Once we commit to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, no man can take away our eternal place in heaven.
Whatever you face—struggles with antagonistic neighbors or co-workers, a loss of employment or financial security, failing health, or a broken relationship—none will touch you in heaven. Your earthly troubles will disappear the instant you step through the gates of heaven.
Third, we are to fear not because God has everything under control: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).
Each of God’s children is deeply loved and cared for by the Father. We are carried on His shoulders and engraved in the palms of His hands. God cares for all of His Creation—from the tiniest sparrow to the largest whale. Yet out of all of His creations, He treasures us most of all.
Confess the fears you are struggling with to God and spend time acknowledging Him as the only One who has the power to overcome them. Thank Him that you can “fear not” because His Truth will triumph, your salvation is secure, and His love for you will never end.
****
Don’t be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today.  Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—”Don’t Lose Your Confidence.” Download it today.

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.
And don't forget to listen to Dr. Michael Youssef at OnePlace.com!
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 27 May 2014, 12:28 pm

Leading the Way
Week of May 26
Call On Me on Behalf of the Next Generation
We want the best for our children. We work hard to provide them the best opportunities, education, possessions, and quality of life that we possibly can. But this earthly foundation is as weak as sand compared to the solid rock we have in Christ. The psalmist declared, "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain" (Psalm 127:1). We work and work to provide for the next generation, but how often do we call out to God to form the foundation of their lives and to watch over them?
Today we face forces that are attacking our future generations. These forces are unashamedly seeking to destroy our society, our morality, our faith, and our convictions. Unless we are firmly anchored in the Rock of Ages, unless we trust in the living God, unless we are vigilant in prayer and fellowship with God, the enemy will be able to vanquish our children.
We have a great responsibility to the next generation. They may not yet realize the dangers they are facing or how to pray for protection and guidance. But we know. We can pray big prayers to God for the next generation. We can pray for God to build our homes and our cities on His foundation. We can model for the next generation how to pray selflessly and ceaselessly to God. We can model for our children that our trust and security is in God, not in our material possessions or earthly successes. When our children see us clinging to the promises of God, they will grow up trusting in His goodness. If we fail as adults in praying for and praying with the next generation, then they will become spiritually unsure.
When a generation begins to feel defeated and uncertain, its people begin to lose their spiritual balance. They may halfheartedly attend church, but inwardly they have lost their biblical moorings. Only God can build a home and guard a city, and that is why we need to call upon the Lord on behalf of the next generation. We need to call upon the Lord for our homes, for our cities, and for our nation.
When we call upon the Lord for the next generation, we can trust that the Lord will work in their lives to cultivate their relationship with Him, to bring them wisdom, to develop their spiritual and intellectual powers, to firm their resolve to walk with Him, to nurture their love of God, and to become powerhouses for Him.
The psalmist describes the next generation as arrows: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:4, 5). We should pray that our children will become arrows into the heart of the enemy. When they face spiritual warfare, when they witness the moral decay around them, when they see the enemy's foothold on our society, may they be like arrows in the hand of the Almighty God to penetrate the enemy territories and to shatter the spiritual deceptions.
How much time do you spend in prayer for the next generation? Even if you do not have children, God wants to hear your prayers for the future of His people. He wants you to model for the next generation how to live a life of faith and devotion to Him. We need to show the next generation that God is not a stranger, but He is our Father and our friend and our comforter and our foundation.
If you are struggling in your faith and commitment to daily prayer, pray for the Holy Spirit's help to strengthen your relationship with Christ. Your spiritual walk is not the only matter at stake, but the spiritual lives of your children as well. Commit today to praying daily for the next generation. Commit to modeling for them a daily fellowship with God. Commit to living the life of faith that you are professing to your children.
****
Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef by registering for My Devotional today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 19 May 2014, 6:15 pm

Leading the Way 


Week of May 19
Why Are You So Afraid?
How do you respond to fear? Do you run and hide, withdrawing into yourself? Do you try to distract yourself from fear with activities? The correct response to fear is not to surrender to it or to ignore it, but to overcome it with faith in God and absolute obedience to His Word.
Scripture tells us, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7,8).
Many people trace their fears back to a loss of control. We experience fear when the stock market fluctuates. We experience fear when we cannot fix our relationships, health, or careers. So what do we do? We try to control the situation. We work long hours to accumulate wealth, in search of financial security. We develop unhealthy jealousy in our relationships. We try every new health fad in search of the fountain of youth. Yet none of these methods bring us contentment or peace.
When we realize that the God who created us, and who redeemed us, is still actively working in our lives today, we can find rest in Him, no matter what storm is raging. Jesus told us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
When we comprehend that God is in control of our lives and surrender our circumstances to Him, we will find security. “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed’” (Isaiah 28:16).
Simply knowing God is faithful and trustworthy is not enough. We must enact this belief in our daily lives. Faith is like a muscle—when it is neglected it atrophies, but when used consistently it builds up and becomes stronger. We continually need to exercise faith to conquer and overpower fear. The Lord told His children through Isaiah, “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (Isaiah 7:9).
When Jesus rebuked His disciples during the storm, He asked, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26). Notice: the disciples’ faith was “little” and they were “so afraid.” Their faith was in inverse proportion to their fear. When faith is at 100 percent, fear is at 0 percent. When faith is at 60 percent, fear is at 40 percent. Yet when faith dips to 20 percent, fear will soar to 80 percent.
However, no matter how we fail in our daily trust in God, fear can never damage or destroy our saving faith. No matter how we give into our fears, our salvation can never be taken away from us. Nothing can snatch us away from God’s unending love: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38,39).
God does not want His children to live a fearful, defeated life. No matter how terrifying our circumstances, God wants us to live victoriously in Him. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children” (Romans 8:15, 16).
If you are experiencing fear today, acknowledge it to the God who cares for you. Cry out, “Abba, Father.” Ask for His supernatural peace to fill your heart. Draw on the presence of the Holy Spirit. Seek confidence in His loving purpose. Commit today to trust and surrender completely only to God, and not your fears.
****
Don’t be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race.  Shore up your confidence in God, today.  Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—”Don’t Lose Your Confidence.” Download it today.

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.
And don't forget to listen to Dr. Michael Youssef at OnePlace.com!
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 12 May 2014, 5:47 pm

Week of May 12
Call on Me For the Joy of Hope
All around us the world is changing, and most of these changes are not for the better. Our culture is becoming more ungodly, and our society is on a downward spiral. Many Christians feel helpless and hopeless at the condition of our world. They have become resigned to the state of society's moral decay. They are overwhelmed by the sinfulness surrounding them. Yet the Bible teaches us that Christians should be the most hopeful people on earth.
Paul encourages us, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12). As a Hebrew, Paul would have been grammatically inclined to place the most important idea at the end of the sentence. Paul is essentially saying that when we persist in prayer, we will not only be steadfast during the tough times, but we will rejoice in hope.
Paul is not talking about temporary optimism or positive thinking. He is saying that persistent prayer leads to a truly optimistic, hope-filled outlook on life. Prayer puts things in an eternal perspective. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit can show us how God views our circumstances, rather than our faulty, pessimistic attitudes. Only through an ongoing fellowship with God can we find the joy of biblical hope.
Biblical hope comes from knowing who we are in Christ and that we belong to Him. Biblical hope comes from the absolute confidence and trust that God has our best interests in His heart. When we are filled with biblical hope, we wake up each morning with enthusiasm waiting to see how God is going to meet our needs, how He is going to walk with us that day, and how He is going to use us mightily for Him.
Paul was no stranger to suffering. He endured beatings, imprisonments, persecution, and hardships. Just like our culture, Paul's culture was filled with senseless hearts, wickedness, reprobate minds, maliciousness, and insolence. Yet he could rejoice in a hope that was based upon an absolute trust and faith that comes from persistent prayer. Paul's hope was rooted in the God of power and might. He placed his hope in the One who keeps His promises.
Paul grieved over the condition of Roman society, but he did not despair because of it. Paul grieved over the cruelty and selfishness of the culture of his day, but he would not allow them to cloud his vision. Paul experienced attacks from bitter people, but he never allowed his persecution to embitter his spirit.
There are times when we will grieve over issues and people, but even in the midst of our frustrations and turmoil we can maintain a consistent state of mind that is filled with optimism. When we know who we are in Christ and where we are spending eternity, we will stay in fellowship with God. Our relationship with Him will give us the strength to persevere in tough times and to rejoice in hope. We may still feel pessimistic over certain events, but we do not have to be overcome by our emotions.
We can find optimism in this life when Christ lives within us. We can find joyful hope when we put our relationship with Christ first and spend regular time fellowshipping with Him in prayer. A close relationship with God will give us joy in the midst of trouble, victory in times of temptations, fruitfulness and blessings in times of uncertainty. A solid prayer life will give us confidence when everything else is crumbling around us.
How persistent is your prayer life? Is prayer the first activity to be cut when your life becomes overscheduled? Do you skip prayer time on the days when you feel tired or ill or apathetic? Are your prayers half-hearted attempts to fulfill a ritual or appease your guilt?
If your prayer life has been lacking, confess to God today how you have neglected this important aspect of your relationship with Him. Pray for the Holy Spirit's help to guide you in your prayers, to motivate you to spend time with Him, to give you the self-discipline to stay focused in prayer, and to prepare your heart for the presence of God.
****
Michael Youssef is asking 100,000 Bible-believing Christians to pray for our nation between July 4th and November 2nd.  Will you covenant with him to pray for our nation.  If so,sign-up now!
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
To follow Leading The Way on Twitter, click here.
Listen to Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way"
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 05 May 2014, 6:59 pm

Week of May 5
God’s Grace Was in the Beginning
Grace has been defined as the second chance we did not expect.
Picture this: We hang our heads in shame because we know we blew it. We missed our opportunity to be the best. So, here we are, stuck with being second best, a far cry from what God intended for us. Yet it is with uncontrolled delight that we see God coming down the street to dry our tears and to encourage us to get back out there. He still believes in us.
What a feeling that must have been for Adam and Eve, the first people to experience the inexplicable grace God has for mankind! There they were, planted in the middle of paradise with the most perfect communion with God. They only had one rule—yet they found a way to break it.
But God is not interested in excommunicating us. Instead of getting upset and declaring the end of the world and starting over, He pursued the hearts of Adam and Eve. In the midst of their sin, God sought their hearts. And He has continued His pursuit ever since.
Many times when we sin, we wonder how God could ever love us again. However, it is the grace of God that gives us a chance to repent and to find new life. God’s grace is not a pardon; rather, it is a measure of forgiveness that gives life to the broken.
As we grow in our relationship with God, oftentimes we are surprised by His love for us. But even more surprising is the amount to which He pours out His grace in our lives. When we sin, God does not cast us aside. Instead, the compassionate heart of God meets us where we are and goes to great lengths to mend our hearts and to restore our relationships with Him.
Prayer: Lord, show me Your grace today in my life.
God raised us up with Christ... in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace (Ephesians 2:6-7).
What do you do when you’ve been hurt real bad? In this month’s free resource, Michael Youssef provides biblical insight for bringing happiness out of conflict and disappointment. Download your copy of “Allowing Sorrow to be the Back Door of Happiness.”

By Passionately Proclaiming Uncompromising Truth, Leading The Way is revolutionizing lives at home and around the world. Discover more at www.leadingtheway.org.
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 28 Apr 2014, 8:11 pm

Week of April 28
The Power of the Cross
Throughout the Old Testament we see the Cross foreshadowed and foretold. But no message about the Cross is more poignant than the words of Jesus Himself. During His last Passover meal with His disciples, Jesus said, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15).
Jesus was eager to eat that last Passover meal with them because He knew that the Cross would fulfill and complete the Passover. The Passover foreshadowed the Cross through its sacrificing of animal blood. Once the blood of Christ was shed, the Passover had finally found its true fulfillment.
In the first Passover, people placed the shed blood of animals on their doorposts, so that the angel of death would pass by their homes and their firstborns would live. In the final Passover, the angel of death will pass over and cannot touch any of those who are washed by the blood of the Lamb of God.
In the first Passover, people had to purchase their own animal sacrifices, whether they could afford it or not. But in the last Passover, Jesus paid the price in full.
The Cross established Christ's memorial in the form of Communion. As Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples, He also began Communion, the First Supper. Communion reminds us of the enormity of our sin, and the generosity of God's grace. Communion reminds us of the price that Jesus paid for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever we receive Communion, we must do so in humility and brokenness before God. We must rejoice and be grateful and thankful for our salvation.
This Cross that fulfilled Passover and began Communion has power in our daily lives. When we live under the Cross of Christ, we can say to whatever guilt or shame plaguing us: "Jesus nailed it all to the Cross." When Satan accuses us and reminds us of past sins, we can say, "Jesus nailed it all to the Cross." When we are tempted to think of ourselves as failures, we can remind ourselves that Jesus made us victors when he nailed it to the Cross.
Only in the Cross of Christ will we receive power when we are powerless. We will find strength when we are weak. We will experience hope when our situation is hopeless. Only in the Cross is there peace for our troubled hearts. 
****
The circumstances of life do not have to get you down.  Learn how you can turn negative situations into ones of hope and promise in our free resource this month—"When Life Gets You Down, Look Up!" Download it today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
To follow Leading The Way on Twitter, click here.
Listen to Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way"
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 21 Apr 2014, 4:41 pm

Week of April 21
Operating in Holy Spirit Power
Are you one of the thousands of people who have been praying for worldwide revival? Many Christians desire to see a great harvest of souls, but the idea may seem daunting. So many sin barriers, cultural barriers, and faith barriers would need to be torn down. Read Acts 10 and discover how God broke through these barriers to spread the Gospel to every corner of the world. What He did then, He can do again.
In this story, we see the Holy Spirit accomplishing things man never could. God brings about a memorable conversion by preparing the hearts of an unbeliever and a witness. What happens next is spectacular.
As a Roman centurion, Cornelius had 100 men reporting to him.  He had heard of Yahweh, God of the Jews, and respected Him enough to donate to the church. Still, Cornelius was not a committed believer. That changed one afternoon when an angel of the Lord appeared to Cornelius. Acts 10:4-5 states, “The angel answered, "Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. Now dispatch some men to Joppa and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter.”
The angel in shining clothes appearing inside his house had Cornelius’ attention, and he obeyed.
Simultaneously, God was preparing Peter’s heart to witness to Cornelius. God had to change Peter’s view of Romans and all Gentiles, a belief system developed over a lifetime of teaching from his parents, his church, and his community. God effectively transformed Peter’s thinking through a vision. God portrayed food that the Jews had always considered as unclean as an analogy to the Gentiles, who were considered even more unclean.  No Jew would have ever invited a Gentile into his house nor enter a Gentile home. Yet, the voice in the vision said to Peter, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Verse 15.
At the Spirit’s direction, Peter soon finds himself traveling to Cornelius’ home. Not only had the hearts of Cornelius and Peter been prepared, “the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message” (v.44) and many were saved as a result. The move of the Spirit was so great that Peter said, "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34-35). This was a world-changing, history-making statement. The Jewish believers were astonished and began to baptize the believing, formerly untouchable Gentiles.
And that is how God took Christianity from being a narrow sect within the Jewish religion to a worldwide religion that breaks down prejudice and unites people in Christ. Christians do not just show tolerance to others, they love all people because God created them and loves them Himself.
You can have confidence that if God has a calling for you, even if it is to go into territory that is unfamiliar to you, He will go ahead of you. Not only will He prepare your heart for your mission, He will prepare others to receive what you offer.
Pray that God will reveal to you what He wants you to do for Him. Ask Him to prepare the hearts of those you can witness to and invite into the kingdom. God’s heart was inclined to Cornelius because of his prayers and his generosity. Ask God to help you pray the prayers and give the gifts that will be most pleasing to Him.
*******
Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef by registering for My Devotional today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 14 Apr 2014, 6:30 pm

Week of April 14th
Sharing the Excitement
When the Samaritan woman accepted Jesus as the long awaited Messiah, she was instantly transformed into a new being.  When something new and exciting happens in your life, what do you do? Share it with your friends and neighbors.  The woman at the well was so thrilled she left her water jug behind in her eagerness to tell everyone what Christ had done for her!
She went back to the streets where she had previously walked in shame with her eyes downcast as people whispered unkindly about her. She had given her sin and guilt to Jesus and now could boldly engage each and every person she met in earnest conversation about her amazing experience. In short, she became a witness. John 4:27-42 tells the story.
Many Christians talk about witnessing but most don’t have a truly accurate view of what being a witness means. To better understand the term, just look at what a witness in a court trial does. His duty is simple: to tell the truth about what he experienced. He is not responsible for fully understanding the law or the process; he is only obligated to tell what he saw and heard. Telling others what we experienced when we met Jesus is our duty as witnesses for Christ, and it should be our joy to do so.  How can we keep the gift of salvation quiet and not share it with others?
The Samaritan woman was not a Bible scholar and did not fully understand all that had just happened to her, yet she could not contain her excitement. Her simple testimony was to tell everyone she met, “Come and see.” That sums up our role as witnesses: we are to invite others to come and see what Jesus has to offer them. We are messengers, bearers of the most valuable invitation people will ever receive.
Christians are often relieved to learn they are not responsible for saving souls; that role is divine and not ours. Just as a witness is not responsible for the verdict, we are not held accountable for whether the people we invite to know Jesus ever accept that invitation. A witness only tells his experience and then leaves the outcome up to the judge or jury.  In the same way, we share the Good News and then the Holy Spirit takes over.
What was most effective about the Samaritan woman was the joy that overflowed from her changed heart. She went from being a woman who drew water in the heat of the day to avoid contact with the townspeople to actively engaging everyone she knew to tell of her wonderful experience. Her simple testimony, unschooled and incomprehensive, was highly effective. Verse 39 says, “…Many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified…”
Do you want God to use you more this year to witness to the wonder of His love, mercy and grace?  We must first start with confession of any sin in our own hearts and repentance. Even worldwide revival must start with facing our own sin.
Pray that God will reveal to you any secret sin you may have rationalized or not yet dealt with.  Ask for a pure heart so you can go forward with His work. Then go out into the workplace, the gym, the classroom or wherever God has placed you and share the story that only you can tell—the story of how you came to know Jesus and all that He has done for you. Someone you know needs to hear it.
******
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We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Apr 2014, 5:27 pm

Week of April 7
True Power
Most people not only admire power, they crave and long for it. Whether it is physical, intellectual, political, or financial power; people pursue power. Even Christians seek after worldly forms of power. The tragedy is that Christians have lost true power because they chase after temporary empowerments. Christians have failed to experience the unbelievable, indescribable, unconventional, and unexplainable power that belongs to them by their very birthright.
Many of us have given up God's supernatural power for worldly power. We have exchanged supernatural power for fading earthly power. We have forgotten about the one power that will survive eternity because we have become so preoccupied with society's standards of power. But no matter what earthly sources we seek power from, whether in our circumstances or through false spirituality, none of these things is a match for the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
How does the world define power? They view power as a way to control events, circumstances, and people. They use worldly power to manipulate others to do their will. They use worldly power to become self-sufficient and to view themselves as better than others. But this power is only temporary. "When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes; all he expected from his power comes to nothing" (Proverbs 11:7). The psalmist tells us, "Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous" (Psalm 37:16, 17).
The power of the Holy Spirit is completely opposite to the world's power. The power of the Holy Spirit gives God's children the ability to serve His purpose for our lives. The Holy Spirit's power is unlike any other in the world. Only the power of the Holy Spirit can transform us, relieve our guilt, and heal our souls.
The Bible tells us, "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘"Abba," Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children" (Romans 8:11, 14-16).
God wants us to use His power for His kingdom. Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Whatever tasks God calls us to do, we can remain confident that God will equip us with His Holy Spirit to guide our steps.
As Christians we have an amazing power source available to us. But as long as we believe the lies about worldly power, we cannot experience the true power of the Holy Spirit. As long as we are deceived and mesmerized by worldly power, God's power will remain elusive to us.
Where do you seek power? Is it in a solid portfolio or a corner office or a prestigious degree? Or do you seek the power of the Holy Spirit to guide your steps and direct your purpose in life? Confess to the Lord the trappings of worldly power that you have succumbed to. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His presence and power.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 31 Mar 2014, 6:58 pm

Monday, March 31, 2014
Leading the Way 

Week of March 31
Bring Your Friends to Jesus
You may have made sacrifices in your life to help others have life’s necessities, an education, or better opportunities. They are all worthy sacrifices, but the ultimate sacrifice is made when we step out in faith to bring another to Jesus.  Mark tells us of four friends who did not allow seemingly insurmountable obstacles to prevent them from bringing their friend to Jesus. Mark 2:1-12.
Four men watched as their quadriplegic friend lay immobile, destined to a life of physical infirmity. The men developed an irrepressible commitment to their friend. They purposed to bring him to Jesus on a stretcher. The day they did, the crowds were alarmingly large and aggressive. No one would give up his place near Jesus so the men could bring their friend to the front to be healed. This did not dissuade these men.  They did not stop in the face of impossible circumstances.
Because the stakes were so great, the four persisted. They had committed to bringing their friend to the Lord, and they did not waver in that commitment. They climbed onto the roof of the building where Jesus spoke, dug a hole, and lowered their friend down to Jesus. 
What struck Jesus first was not the man’s paralysis but rather his friends’ faith.  They could not heal the man physically or convert him spiritually, but they had an undaunted faith that Jesus could.  The men believed that if they could just bring him into the presence of Jesus that He would do the rest—and Jesus honored that faith.
Jesus’ first move was not to heal the man’s paralysis.  Instead, He addressed the man’s spiritual condition by forgiving his sins—a far greater need. Not only did the man walk out of the house healed physically, Jesus saved him from eternal death and gave him eternal life. His friends could not have given him a greater gift.
Often, we are satisfied if our families and closest friends are saved.  It should not stop there. The paralytic may have been a neighbor, a former co-worker, or a family friend. Like these men, when God brings people into our lives and places their unsaved condition on our hearts, we can trust Him to honor our faith. Our only task is to bring them to Him. They may have no faith at all, but God will honor our faith.
Is there someone in your life who is unsaved? Are you committed to bringing that person to Jesus? You may have tried in the past with no results. George Mueller prayed for some people for 23 years before they were saved. Will you commit to praying with renewed commitment for them? Do you need to invite them to church or a small group?
Pray today that God will give you undaunted faith that your friend will surely come to know the Lord. Then be obedient to do your part to bring them before Jesus.
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Mar 2014, 10:37 pm

Week of March 17
Shadow Spirituality
Have you ever tried to witness to someone who responded, "I don't need church or religion—I'm a very spiritual person." Maybe they try to fill their spiritual void with tarot cards, astrology, meditation, philosophy, or yoga. But without Christ as their Savior, their efforts to feed their spiritual hunger are in vain. We all were born in a spiritual vacuum, craving wholeness and peace. We may try to satisfy our hearts and souls with temporary fixes, but only God can permanently and completely fill that longing inside of us.
God is the only source of true spiritual fulfillment. Anything else is temporary and false. It is a shadow of the real spirituality of God. Shadow spirituality is any form of spirituality that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Lord of life. Shadow spirituality refuses to acknowledge the sovereign power and authority of God. Shadow spirituality dismisses the Bible as the Word of God.
Even churches are not immune from shadow spirituality. Many churches are wrongly preaching that Christ is merely one of many ways to God. They preach in direct opposition to God's Word and plan of salvation. Jesus warned, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves" (Matthew 7:15).
People who claim they are "spiritual" define their spirituality as any dimension of the human experience that is beyond the physical -- whether it is the occult, paganism, mysticism or any human-designed religion. Their goal is for people to become enlightened and empowered. They seek a strong self-esteem and a balance of spirit, body, and mind. Unfortunately, these are elusive goals leaving their seekers spending their lives constantly searching for more.
Christianity provides something far greater than improved emotional health; it provides complete emotional transformation. Only God can heal our emotions and make us whole. We will never find wholeness unless we make Christ the center of our lives. The apostle Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
Shadow spirituality is deceptive and based on personal happiness. True spirituality leads to wholeness as we reflect the likeness of Jesus Christ. Shadow spirituality offers temporary fixes. True spirituality provides permanent transformation. Shadow spirituality promotes the falsehood that we can achieve our own wholeness, while true spirituality acknowledges that only the Holy Spirit can declare us whole.
Many of these human-designed spiritual distractions may seem helpful on the surface, but they lead us away from the only One who truly wants to see us forgiven, healed, and whole. Jesus longs for us to receive the power of the Resurrection where we can find real transformation. Through Christ we become new creatures. Through Christ we receive the Holy Spirit and become genuinely spiritual people. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The world desperately needs to hear this message of true spirituality. They are seeking to fill that spiritual void but will remain eternally empty without Christ. Write on the lines below people in your life who are distracted by shadow spirituality, whether through new age practices, false religions, or a distorted gospel. Begin praying for every day that God will provide opportunities for you to share with them what true spirituality means.
"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God." 
1 John 4:1-3
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 11 Mar 2014, 3:54 pm

[size=12.727272033691406]Week of March 10[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Finding Contentment[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]No one is born contented with life. As babies we cry for our every need. As we grow up we experience the frustrations and struggles of life. Yet through our hardships, we can learn how to gain contentment. Paul told the Philippians, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12).[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Contentment was not a natural skill or talent for Paul—he had to learn about it through experiencing both the highs and lows of life. Paul said, "I have learned…" Learning does not always come easily. It requires time, dedication, and willingness to learn the necessary lessons.[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Paul spent years at the pinnacle of prestige and power as a Pharisee, then became a humble servant of Christ. He experienced times of plenty and times of near starvation. He lived in a comfortable home, and he dwelled in a prison cell. Yet he finally figured out how to find joy and contentment in both extremes of life. He realized that contentment is a state of the heart, not of affairs and that contentment is independent of his circumstances.[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Paul learned that everything we have belongs to God, including life itself. When we completely trust God to lead our lives in His timing and His ways, He will meet our needs. When our confidence is in the sovereignty of God, we will not panic when we face tough circumstances. But when we try to control our lives and manipulate events and people to our advantage, we will become frustrated and joyless.[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Paul trusted the sovereign hand of God and he learned to be content in the ups and in the downs, in the abundance and in the lack, in the sickness and in the health, in the courts of the kings and in the dungeons and the prisons. Paul recognized God as the source of his strength: "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Whatever God called Paul to do—whether speaking with the powerful or the poor, whether preaching to thousands in a coliseum or to a lone Philippian jailer, whether speaking to King Agrippa or to a lowly soldier in Rome—Paul knew that God would equip him for his tasks. Paul's God-centered focus brought joy and contentment to his life. The psalmist declared, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song" (Psalms 28:7).[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]God will also provide for us and strengthen us as we seek to follow Him in faithful obedience. "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Whatever needs we have—salvation, comfort, encouragement—Jesus can meet them. He can lift us above the hurts that others have caused. He can give us perseverance when we are in the middle of the valley. He will meet our needs in His perfect timing and in accordance with His glorious, inexhaustible riches.[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Are you facing difficulties? Are you facing trying times? Are you panicking about what to do next? God wants you to be faithful to Him; God wants you to trust Him, and He will teach you this incredible lesson of contentment. Commit to Christ today to follow Him first in all circumstances.[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." 
Psalm 16:11
[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]****[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef by registering for My Devotional today.[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org[/size]
[size=12.727272033691406]Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com[/size]
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 03 Mar 2014, 6:59 pm

Week of March 3
Remaining Spiritually Stable
Would you describe your spiritual life as stable? Or does it waver and wobble? Are you guided by the Holy Spirit or by the prevailing mood of the culture? One of the consequences of diminished joy is spiritual instability. This condition leads to burnout and discouragement; it leads to doubt and total ineffectiveness in the ministry of Christ. Spiritual instability opens our lives up to spiritual attack during a time when we are too misguided to realize the danger. Just as we need to remain on guard to protect our joy, we also need to watch for the warning signs of spiritual instability.
We are reminded throughout the New Testament to stand firm in our faith: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" (Matthew 10:22). "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). "For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 3:8).
We can stand firm because we know that Christ has already defeated the enemy of death and the grave, and He has conquered sin and Satan. We do not have to fight that battle; it was won on the cross. Our call is to stand firm against a defeated enemy. We stand firm because Christ has already obtained the victory for us.
By standing firm and upholding the Truth of the Gospel, we remain focused on the things that matter most. But when we waver, we are likely to bicker over the minor issues. In the church at Philippi, two women were engaged in an ongoing argument over a trivial matter. Paul wrote, "I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel" (Philippians 4:2, 3).
Paul knew their stubborn insistence on their own opinions would steal their joy and lead to destabilization in their spiritual walks. He knew their arguments would lead to bitterness, vengefulness, and hostility. But when we live in harmony with others, our hearts are better able to focus on Christ.
We can protect our spiritual condition by remaining joyful in the Lord. When we place all of our sufficiency in Christ, we will naturally want to rejoice. We experience sufficiency in the Lord when we routinely spend time with Him in order to know His character, His Word, His promises, and His will for our lives. Then our hearts will be focused on godly things, instead of our tendencies toward gossip, pride, selfishness, and bitterness.
Paul further encourages us to remain faithful to God in prayer. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6, 7).
We feed our stabilizing joy by filling our minds with godly thoughts. Whatever fills our minds will come out in our actions and decisions. If we focus on our bitterness, our self-pity, our selfish desires, we will become miserable people. Paul encouraged the Philippians, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:8, 9).
How stable is your spiritual walk today? If you have allowed your joy to diminish, you are in danger of spiritual instability. Pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance to show you areas that have been weakened in your spiritual life, and ask Him for the power to strengthen your relationship with Christ.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
Philippians 4:4
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Feb 2014, 10:56 pm

Week of February 24
Making Joy a Priority
When was the last time you evaluated your priorities? Have you recently looked at your commitments, goals, and checkbook to list your assets and liabilities? When we do not discipline ourselves to stay focused on our eternal priorities, we can easily become bogged down by earthly concerns that are unimportant.
When the apostle Paul was in prison, he took the time to evaluate his own life. Before Paul became a Christian, he was a Pharisee with prestige, power, and wealth. After he began His ministry for Christ, Paul endured frequent attacks, imprisonments, and hunger as he traveled from town to town. Yet because Paul kept his focus on Christ, he found a joy that gave him a heavenly perspective on life and priorities:
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" (Philippians 3:7-9).
As Paul discovered, the things we consider assets in this life often turn out to be our liabilities because they keep us from depending on God. What is the object of your confidence? Is it your intelligence, your financial security, your social network? None of these things will bring us indescribable joy—only dependence on Christ's strength can bring us joy. We must value our relationship with Christ and treasure our gift of joy in order to experience joy at its fullest.
Only Christ's resurrection power can satisfy our empty hearts. Only His power can defeat our temptations and turn our trials into triumphs. Only His power can exchange our weaknesses for His strength. Any earthly assets that we draw on are rubbish compared to Christ's power.
As imperfect humans, it is easy for us to revert back to our independent ways, especially when things seem to go well for us. We quickly forget about Christ's strength and joy when we find comfort and happiness in our circumstances.
But we must be on guard against spiritual stagnation. We must place our relationship with Christ first in our lives. We often shy away from spiritual growth because we know that growth is often accompanied by pain. We want to run from our troubles rather than pressing forward. But the Bible tells us, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Paul encouraged the Philippians, "But one thing I d Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13, 14). While we may have to strain our spiritual muscles in order to grow, we will find joy in the midst of our struggles if we focus on Christ.
If you have been struggling with finding your joy, spend some time today examining your priorities. Is Christ first in your life? Are you placing all of your confidence in Him alone? Be honest with yourself as you rank your priorities on the lines below. Which are your assets and which are your liabilities as God sees them? Ask God for forgiveness if He is not your first priority. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reprioritize your life so that God is first and your joy may be full.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 11:52 pm

Week of Feb. 17
Joy Through Christ
On the surface, happiness and joy are similar; they are both uplifting and blissful experiences. Yet there are more differences than similarities. Happiness is a self-focused emotion tied directly to getting what we want. Joy is a spiritual result of our focus on God. It is tied to our salvation and our walk with Christ. Happiness is temporary at best; it is subjective to our circumstances and moods. Joy is eternally-based and can be ours even in our deepest valleys. Happiness quickly leaves us when we fail to attain our goals or we become bored with our prizes. Joy is from God and therefore can never be stolen from us.
Joy is given through the Holy Spirit the moment we accept Christ as our Savior. As Christians, our joy can never be completely destroyed, although there are many pitfalls which can significantly diminish it. Joy is a permanent gift from God, but it also a gift for which we must take responsibility for nurturing and protecting on a daily basis.
We can always find joy in our salvation, because our salvation is assured. Paul told the Philippians, "In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:4-6). The God who gave us salvation never begins anything that He will not complete. When He saved us, He saved us completely, eternally and forever. Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand" (John 10:28).
You may have heard the acronym for J-O-Y representing how to gain joy through our priorities: Jesus, Others, then Yourself. But consider this twist: J stands for Jesus, Y stands for You, but O stands for Zero. When absolutely nothing comes between Jesus and You, you will find joy. At the center of our joy is our relationship with God; anything that stands between us and our Savior will corrode our joy.
One of the greatest threats to our joy is disobedience to God's Word. When we live in disobedience, we become a fruitless and joyless Christian. Jesus warned against fruitlessness: "No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:4, 5).
We also face pitfalls to joy through people and circumstances in our lives. We may encounter malicious people who resent our beliefs. We may lose our jobs, our best friends, or our homes. Happiness may be out of reach—but joy is readily available if we know how to nurture it.
Paul was no stranger to experiencing hardships. He endured harsh criticism, prison, and near-death situations. He was not always happy, but he had found the secret to maintaining his joy. He remained focused on Christ instead of his circumstances. Rather than resenting his obstacles, Paul was able to say, "But what does it matter? The important thing is that…Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that…what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance" (Philippians 1:18, 19).
Joy does not mean that we will not experience pain or sadness or frustration when everything seems to go wrong. But unlike happiness, we can find joy in the midst of our suffering. When Christ is at the center of our lives, when His glory is our goal, when we refuse to be intimidated by life's obstacles, and when we live totally for Christ in obedience, we will find a joy that will carry us through the darkest of valleys.
Have you covered up your joy with the anxieties and distractions of this world? Have you taken you eyes off of Christ and your relationship with Him? Are you ignoring the convictions of the Holy Spirit to repent of certain sins in your life? If so, seek God's forgiveness today. Pray for the Holy Spirit's help to overcome the obstacles to living a joyful life.
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 14:17
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 10 Feb 2014, 10:20 pm

Week of Feb. 10
Contentment in Fishing
As we learn to overcome our discontentment by remaining in constant fellowship with Christ, we also realize that our joy in Christ is far too exciting to keep to ourselves. In thankfulness and delight, we want to share with others what God has done in our lives.
In the gospel of Matthew, we see Jesus gathering His disciples. "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,' Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him" (Matthew 4:18-22).
The men in this passage were successful fishermen, but Jesus had bigger plans for them. He said, "Come, follow me…and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Jesus did not expect that they would already know how to be fishers of men. He expected them to follow Him. He was asking them to abandon their mundane lives and work for the glory of God's kingdom. He sought their willingness to drop everything for Him. He asked these successful leaders to become His followers. He called these decision makers to trust His commands completely.
Today Jesus is still asking His followers to let go of whatever may be hindering our work for God's kingdom, whether it is our opinions, our ideas, or our needs. He is seeking our obedience and willingness to serve Him wholeheartedly. When we witness to nonbelievers as we live a life of contentment in Christ, God can use our testimony for His glory.
Christ does not demand a perfect knowledge of witnessing methods, but he does demand our service and obedience. He knows that our lifestyle will speak volumes alongside our words. Paul told the Corinthians, "Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else" (2 Corinthians 9:13).
As fishers of men, we need to remember that the fish around us in the world are constantly watching us. They notice how we act, live and behave. When we do not allow God's transforming power to work in us daily, we have no bait to lure them. Can you imagine what nonbelievers think as they see Christians full of bitterness, anger, jealousy, envy, and gossip? Who wants that kind of life? If they see us as hypocrites full of criticism, the fish will swim the other way. In order to be fishers of men, we need to model ourselves after Jesus. We need to obey Him and listen to Him and follow His directions.
Why did Jesus ask His disciples to become fishers of men? Why not hunters or harvesters? Jesus was addressing them in the context of how they lived—they were fishermen. Jesus was asking them to take the talents and skills of their trade and apply them toward working for God's kingdom. Regardless of whom we are or what we do, God wants us to use our resources for His glory. He wants us to view our neighborhoods and our schools and our workplaces as our fishing ponds.
What is hindering you from becoming a fisher of men? Do you think you need to be perfectly prepared with all the right answers and the latest witnessing techniques? Jesus never said He only calls the experts—He calls every Christian to witness for Him. He just wants our willingness—and the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. Commit to God today to become a willing servant of Christ.
"‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'" 
Mark 10:43-45
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Feb 2014, 10:31 pm

Leading the Way 

Week of Feb. 3
The Detours of Discontent
Why does it seem so easy to go from living the abundant life that Christ promised to living a life that is bleak and frustrating? How do our hearts get disengaged from these spiritual activities, leaving us to simply go through the motions of attending church and reading the Bible?  Where did we go wrong? How can we find our way back?
There are four primary detours that throw us off course in our Christian walk. They are designed by the enemy to keep us restless and to steal our peace and joy. The first detour is an unwillingness to confront our weaknesses. We all have weaknesses which cause us pain. We may have a physical weakness that has led us to depression. We may have a moral weakness that leads us into sin. We may have a character flaw or a lack of spiritual discipline. Whatever our weaknesses are—whether physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual—they can lead to discontentment if we do not apply God's grace to those areas.
Paul wrote, "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). If we find that God's grace is not sufficient for us, then that insufficiency is signaling a problem—either we are focusing too much on the problem itself and not on God's grace, or we are ignoring our weaknesses altogether. As Paul explains, the secret to dealing with weaknesses is to trust in God's grace, allowing Him to give us victory in those areas.
Another dangerous detour to contentment is legalism. Legalism elevates our rules to the same importance as God's commandments, whether the rules are moralistic guidelines, worship etiquette, or additional conditions to salvation. Yet no matter how well-intentioned these 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).
The pitfall of pride can also lead us away from contentment. Pride lurks at the core of our weaknesses. Pride deceptively presents itself as righteousness when in reality it is self-serving. Pride hinders our prayers as we lose focus on bringing glory to God in all things. Pride arrogantly shifts our confidence in God to confidence in ourselves. Yet as imperfect humans, we will fail ourselves. Our focus on ourselves will only lead to discontentment. The Bible tells us, "But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'" (James 4:6).
A fourth detour from contentment is a lack of generosity. Even when life grows financially difficult, a generous person can remain joyful. God wants us to give out of love and gratitude to Him, not out of obligation or for the sake of appearances. God is concerned with the heart of our giving.
The gospel of Mark gives us an example of generous and wholehearted giving. "Jesus…watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins…Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on'" (Mark 12:41-44).
Have you experienced a detour in your Christian walk? Are you allowing your weaknesses to drive you further from God? Has a legalistic mindset shifted your focus from God's grace to manmade rituals and rules? Are you allowing pride to determine your own path? Has your generosity crumbled? Seek God's forgiveness today for whatever has caused you to stumble in your relationship with Him. Ask for His help to overcome that roadblock and to lead you back toward contentment in Him alone.
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." 
Philippians 3:7
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 28 Jan 2014, 3:59 pm

Week of Jan. 27
Coming Home to Contentment
Do you feel like you are missing out on something in life? Do you feel discontent or disappointed with your circumstances? We often try to find contentment by making surface changes in our lives—switching jobs, moving to a new city, beginning a new relationship—but nothing seems to work. We fail because we try to apply human solutions to a spiritual problem.
In the Bible we see two examples of discontentment in the lives of Cain and the prodigal son. Although they both experienced restlessness, their responses were completely different. Cain allowed his misery to drive himself further away from God; the prodigal son allowed his misery to lead him back home.
Cain's restlessness began with jealousy toward his brother Abel. "In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast" (Genesis 4:3-5). Abel remembered his parents' teaching about the cost of sin. He remembered that God required an animal sacrifice. Cain wanted to please God in his own way and gave God a grain sacrifice. Perhaps Cain's sacrifice was just as costly as Abel's, but the price was not what was important. What mattered was obedience to God's commands, and Cain did not follow God's requirements.
When God rebuked Cain for his inadequate sacrifice, Cain responded with a renewed fury and hatred toward his brother. Cain could have used his failure to turn his pride and willfulness into submission to God; instead he further rebelled and killed his brother. God let Cain remain in his discontentment and said, "You will be a restless wanderer on the earth" (Genesis 4:12).
Running from God will never alleviate our problems - or quell our guilt, or quiet our consciences. Running from God will never cure our restlessness and discontent—it will only make our situations worse. Only running toward God will bring us healing, restoration, joy and peace.
In contrast to Cain, the prodigal son shows us how God can use our discontentment to turn our hearts back to Him. Read Luke 15:11-32. The prodigal son was also restless and discontent. He also ran away from his father. Yet instead of allowing his misery to drive him further and further away, the prodigal son realizes that running away is not the answer. Unlike Cain, the prodigal used his discontent to repent and restore his relationship with his father.
"When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men'" (Luke 15:17-19).
Because the prodigal son sought contentment through his father and not his rebellion, he finally found happiness and peace. The father did not punish his son or send him away but instead welcomed him home with love.
How will you respond to your seasons of discontent? Will you become like Cain who used his own solutions to try to solve his spiritual problems? Will you allow your envy and pride to fuel your rebellion against God's plan for your life? Or will you treat your spiritual problem of discontentment with God's spiritual answers? Will you find the courage to repent of your rebellion and come back home to the Father?
If you are tired of wandering and searching, confess to God today your restlessness and discontentment. Ask him to forgive your pride and stubbornness. Thank Him for His unfailing mercy and His willingness to forgive the repentant heart.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." 
Psalms 51:17
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 8:15 pm

Remember Job
(En Español)
There is much to say about the book of Job. Many scholars believe it is the oldest book of the Bible; all agree that it predates the wisdom books (Proverbs, Psalms, etc.). Another interesting insight is this: Job was not an Israelite. So the antiquity of this book combined with its Gentile hero makes it unique among all Old Testament Scriptures.
Yet there is another narrative that is actually my main point of interest. The story of Job is not only about an innocent man suffering unjustly from a satanic attack; the bulk of the story concerns the suffering Job endured from his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar (and later Elihu). These men, probably religious scholars of their day, were friends of Job. Yet during his distress they falsely judged him; they became his accusers.
In defense of Job's friends, upon seeing Job's great suffering they threw dust on their heads and wept. Then they sat with him in silence for seven days. Only after Job spoke did they finally open their mouths in response. They began with reverence, weeping and compassion (a place we might consider before we callously offer our opinions). However, it is plain that their pride and religious opinions eventually overcame their compassions toward Job.
It should also be noted that, generally speaking, Job's friends had right doctrines. Their error was not so much in their theology as much as their assigning the role of sinner to Job. They did not have enough humility to see that they could be wrong. God's view was that Job was not a sinner. In fact, according to the Lord, Job was the most righteous man in the world. He was not just a relatively good man among other good men, but among all men there was "no one like him on the earth" (Job 1:8). In God's eyes Job was in a class by himself: three times he was called a "blameless and upright man" by God (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3).
We know it was wrong of Job's friends to falsely accuse him. Yet isn't it ironic that still today people cannot help but find fault with Job! If we read some modern interpretations of the book of Job, we find critics are still blaming Job for his suffering. Some say Job's devastation occurred because of unbelief; others say his fear opened the door to the adversary. And still others feel Job must have had some sin that left him vulnerable to the devil's attack. How is it that people cannot see this stunning reality: NONE of the things spoken against Job -- not 3,500 years ago nor today -- were right!
My point is this: the instinct to judge and criticize without having all the information is not only rampant in the world, it is also in us. If we think Job caused his own troubles, then we are as deceived as the three "friends" who wrongly accused him. In fact, we are worse, because they did not know Satan was behind the attack or that God had declared Job a blameless man. In contrast, we have the Scriptures and testimony of God. Yet in spite of what we can plainly read, our religious minds hunger to find fault.
Could it be that the take-away message of the book of Job -- the reason it is in the Bible in the first place -- is to provide a vivid example that it is wrong to judge without knowing all the facts? Indeed, the book of Job is a portrait of people with a religious mindset who are self-assured they are right, who judge without having truly heard from God.
God placed the life story of Job in the most sacred Book in the world for a reason: that we would not be so confident that our judgments are always right. The fact is, throughout history good people, godly people, have been lied about, slandered, blamed and persecuted! Of course, we know that the wicked suffer, but do we take into account that so also do the righteous? And the main accusers of the righteous are not necessarily the openly godless, but the self-righteous religious leaders of the day.
Job's friends had right doctrines that were wrongly applied.
In Conclusion
Of course, there are people who have sinned and done terrible things. I am not saying we should gloss over these atrocities. Of course, if you see injustice of some kind that is unmistakably evil -- yes, judge and then act to bring swift justice. But in most cases the issues of a person's heart are not so obvious. Therefore, I make my appeal to you: before you judge, remember Job and why his story is in the Bible.
Finally, with grace upon my words let me say we must crucify our instincts to judge. When Job's family came, they invested in him their love and gifts. They restored him. They did what love would do, what Christ would do. As He has been to us, so we should be to others. We can possess the very same "mind … which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5 KJV). We can remember the story of Job.
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The preceding teaching was adapted from a chapter in Pastor Frangipane's book, Spiritual Discernment and the Mind of Christ. This book is currently on sale and can be ordered from Arrow Publications at www.arrowbookstore.com.

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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 13 Jan 2014, 11:23 pm

Week of Jan. 13
Making a Comeback
Do you live in a state of regret over how your life has turned out? Do you wonder how things would be different today if you had only followed God's path yesterday? If you have missed God's opportunities in your life because of fear, timidity, lack of faith, or even apathy, you may be tempted to keep punishing yourself for your mistakes.
God does not want you to feel constant regret and misery. He wants you to be forgiven, restored, and renewed. With God, it is never too late to be used for His kingdom. The same specific opportunities may no longer be available to you, but you can still be effective for Christ. He wants you to serve Him willingly and obediently today—no matter how you may have failed in the past.
We can find inspiration in the believers in Philadelphia, who wholeheartedly pursued God's opportunities for them. They faithfully served God's kingdom, and Jesus commended them for their commitment: "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8).
The city of Philadelphia was the crossroads of the world and called the Gateway to the East. The Philadelphians sought to use that gateway to propagate the Greek culture and language to the rest of the world. They had a great mission for themselves—but Jesus had a far greater one for the believers in that city. Jesus honored the Philadelphian church with unique opportunities to spread His Gospel.
The believers in Philadelphia had many obstacles and weaknesses, but instead of neglecting their opportunities, they embraced them. They did not want to miss out on anything that God placed before them. They would not ignore God's open door. They would not trample upon or squander the rare opportunities that Jesus was giving them to spread the Gospel message. They knew they were in a unique position in that gateway city, and they did not take that privilege lightly.
The church in Philadelphia knew that serving God is not a chore or a burden—it is a gift and a blessing. Because of their faithfulness and loyalty, Jesus gave them an opportunity to do great things for God and He promised great rewards: "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name" (Revelation 3:12).
Jesus is also calling today's church to serve Him. He wants each of us to share our faith with others. He will provide us with the right people with open hearts who are ready to hear the Gospel message. He will open doors that no one else can shut.
Before we can share the Good News we must have the spiritual sensitivity to perceive those open doors. We must be ready to act in faith when God gives us an opportunity. We must have the spiritual eyes to watch for His open doors. We must be willing to serve God wholeheartedly in whatever He calls us to do.
What open doors has God placed in your life? What spiritually starving people live on your street or work in your office? How long will those doors be open to share the Gospel with them? If you have neglected God's opportunities, turn back to Him today—it is not too late to serve Him.
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." 
Romans 12:11
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Jan 2014, 9:01 pm

Week of Jan. 6
Standing Up for Truth
The Truth of Christ has not changed since before time began. God is constant and true; He does not change. Yet throughout history, humanity has tried to transform God into its own image. When people do not like something in God's Word, they try to twist it to fit their own needs and agendas. When people try to understand God through their worldly views instead of through the Holy Spirit's discernment, they are easily fooled by Satan's lies.
All around us we see the consequences of these deceitful hearts and judgment errors. We see the Gospel being watered down for the sake of appeasing the culture. We see Christians allowing the name of Christ to be trampled and ridiculed. We allow false teaching into our churches and homes. But how many of us stand up for God's Truth? How many of us confront those lies and false doctrines? How many of us defend Christ's name when we hear it mocked?
We may follow Christ in our hearts. We may boldly profess His name in the company of other believers. We may worship Christ in the security of our church pews. But how do we react when confronted by our worldly culture?
The church in Pergamum also endured intense social pressure to walk away from the Truth. On the outside, the church seemed to be following God's commandments. Inwardly, they allowed the culture to weaken their courage. They began tolerating the customs of their pagan society. They permitted false teachings to infiltrate their church. They remained followers of Christ but chose to blend in with society instead of standing for His Truth.
While Jesus encourages them in their suffering, He admonishes them for tolerating what they know to be false doctrines and teachings: "I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam…[and]…the Nicolaitans" (Revelation 2:13-15).
Jesus knew the Pergamum believers faced intense attacks because of their faith. He knew that Satan held a stronghold in their city. Jesus was aware of their situation, just as He is aware of everything that we face today. He knows it is not easy to feel the pressure of a godless society. Yet the world's opposition does not excuse us from speaking against the lies of our culture. Jesus still expects us to stand up for His name and His Truth.
Even though we are called to stand firm for the Gospel, we should not be surprised when the world rejects our stance on Truth. "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood" (1 John 4:4-6).
We can praise God that He does not expect us to make this stand on our own. He will be right there with us, no matter what persecutions we face. He has given us every tool and weapon we need in our spiritual fight. "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes…so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand" (Ephesians 6:10, 11, 13).
If we continue on the road of compromise, eventually we will face serious consequences. Jesus is appealing to each of us to change our lifestyles before it is too late. He knows the pressures and temptations we face, and He wants to give us the strength we need to stand against these attacks. He wants to give us courage to denounce sins, errors, and false teachings. He wants us to speak up when we see people twist the Gospel message.
Pray for God's strength to stand up for Truth. Pray for wisdom for the words to say and the right times to say them. Pray for His comfort and protection as your face the enemy. Commit today to stand up for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near." 
James 5:8
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 31 Dec 2013, 6:16 pm

Week of Dec. 30
Our Greatest Call
The church in Ephesus had many good qualities, yet they were lacking in one significant area: their love for Jesus Christ. They actively served Him. They taught biblical Truth. They refused to give in to the permissive culture around them. They endured hardships in the name of Christ. They were busy, committed workers for the kingdom.
Jesus commends them for their hard labor and endurance: "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary" (Revelation 2:2, 3).
Yet, in their sincere efforts to serve Christ, they forgot to spend time loving and adoring Him. They overlooked their prayer time with Him. They no longer worshiped God wholeheartedly. They were so distracted and bogged down by the work of God, they neglected their relationship with Him. Jesus warns them: "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love" (Revelation 2:4).
Yes, Jesus wants our obedience. He wants to see us actively serving Him. He wants us to follow the Truth and shun false teachings. He wants us to remain dedicated to Him even in the face of persecution. However, upholding the Truth cannot replace our love for Him.
Throughout the Bible we read of God's love for us—and He wants us to return that love with the same fervor and intensity. When the Pharisees asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:37, 38).
Believing the right things and doing the right things are vital components of our Christian faith—we must continue walking in the Truth. But loving God must be at the root of everything.
How often do you stop to adore Jesus? Do you wait for Sunday worship service because you're just too busy during the week? Do you neglect spending time reading His love letter to humanity because you're consumed with projects and commitments? Are you allowing the busyness of the work of God to supplant your relationship with Him?
If you have let your relationship with Christ fade, follow His words to the Ephesians: "Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:5, 7).
If you have ceased to love Him like you did when you first accepted Him as Savior, recalling the time when you were overwhelmed by the love of Christ for you. Recall the time when you were joyous over the forgiveness you received for your sins. Recall how you wanted to spend all of your time adoring and worshiping and thanking Him.
Then identify whatever is robbing you of your ability to love Jesus with all your heart. Reverse your course and return to that time when loving God was your primary focus. Recapture the time when you loved being in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Recapture the time when your love for Jesus occupied your thoughts, your desires, and your decisions.
Pray for the Lord's help to remain in a state of love and adoration for Him. Pray that others will see your continuous love for Christ and they will turn their attention to Him.
"To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 
Mark 12:33
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Dec 2013, 1:25 pm

Week of Dec. 23
Your Spiritual Instruction Manual
What happens when we do not follow instruction manuals? Typically we become lost and confused. But this disorder is only temporary. When we choose to ignore the greatest instruction manual—the Bible—we are lost for eternity. The Bible contains God's plan of salvation, and without it we have no hope of reconciliation.
This instruction manual also contains directions for daily living. It shows us how to love God, how to treat other people, and how to become testimonies for Christ. Yet we cannot haphazardly read the Bible and expect to gain its full wisdom. There are some basic guidelines to properly studying God's Word:
We must be careful to study the Bible in the context of the whole passage so we will not misinterpret God's purpose and meaning. We cannot randomly pull out verses that seem to fit what we're searching for.
While the truths and histories of the Bible are to be taken literally, we must also recognize its usage of metaphors. When Jesus said, "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out" (Mark 9:47), He was not instructing us to physically blind ourselves.
We also need to understand the historical and cultural settings of the Bible. We need to discern what is mandated for all believers and what was unique for certain individuals. When Elijah confronted Ahab and Jezebel, he did not set a precedent for all of us to literally call for fire from heaven when standing up for righteousness.
When purchasing a Bible, look for a version that is both true to the original meaning, yet also easy enough to understand so that it encourages study. Perhaps also acquire a concordance, Bible dictionary, a chronological Bible, or a commentary series for a fuller understanding.
We must be on guard against reading what we want into Scripture. We cannot randomly flip through the Bible and declare that whatever page we land on will provide us our answers. We cannot pull verses out of context to support our false ideas. The Bible is the infallible Word of God, not a tool to twist for our own purposes.
We will gain the most benefit from the Bible when we read it with the Holy Spirit's guidance. Without His help, we may overlook key insights, misunderstand meanings, or ignore the rebukes in a passage. 
We must also apply what we read in our daily lives. When we simply read the words but do not follow them, then we are missing out on the transforming power of God's Word. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:22-25).
As you begin studying God's Word today, ask yourself three questions regarding the passage: What does the Bible say to the original reader? What does the Bible mean by what it says? How can this apply to me today?
Pray for a hunger to study God's Word and for the Holy Spirit's discernment as you read the words. Pray for a desire to share what you learn with others and to use the Bible's transforming power to be a light in this darkened world.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." 
Psalm 119:105
****
In a world gone mad with relativism and political correctness... What can we do to ignite spiritual renewal in our lives and in our churches? Read the passion Michael Youssef has for this subject in our free resource—"We Preach Christ." Download it today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
To follow Leading The Way on Twitter, click here.
Listen to Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way"
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Dec 2013, 9:22 pm

Week of Dec. 16
The Living and Active Word
Imagine that you have just received a love letter from your beloved. What would you do with it? Would you open it, read it, reread it, and keep it someplace safe? Or would you leave it on a shelf, unopened and collecting dust?
The Bible is God's love letter to humanity, telling us about Himself and how He loved us so much that He sent His Son to redeem us. Through the Scriptures, God reveals His heart to us; we can learn about His goodness and love through His letters to us. We should treasure God's Word as we would a cherished love letter that captures our heart.
The Bible has the power like a sharp sword to pierce through to our very hearts and speak to us like no friend, teacher, or other book can: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
The Bible is not merely words on pages in a book, but it is God's living Word. These words contain God's authority. These words contain God's power. These words contain God's strength. When we read the Bible—and believe and obey it—Scripture has the ability to stretch us on God's operating table, to cut out the tumors of sin and then to heal and restore us.
When we are stretched out on God's operating table, everything about us is revealed. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13). The Bible points to our blind spots - things we cannot see on our own. We may think we are doing fine spiritually, but then the Bible shows us where we are lacking.
The Word of God is sharp like a surgeon's scalpel, capable of cutting out the sin and disobedience in our lives. Surgery is never easy, but it is necessary for good health. The double-edged sword of God's Word can cut straight to our hearts and souls. It penetrates deep into the inner recesses of our spiritual being. It can judge our motives and attitudes, and all of our hidden thoughts. We may try to deceive others and even ourselves, but we cannot deceive God. He knows everything about us.
Yet after having been cut open, God does not leave us there to bleed. He heals us and restores us. He wants to fulfill us and bless us. God not only uses His Word to rebuke us but also to enrich us and pour His grace upon us.
As the psalmist declares, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb" (Psalm 19:7-10).
But God does not want us to keep our renewed spirits to ourselves. As we allow God's Word to transform us, we become better equipped to do His work. "From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
Pray for the Holy Spirit to remove your blind spots as you read the Word of God. Allow Him to convict you of your shortcomings so that you can repent and be restored. As He renews your spirit, begin to turn your thoughts outward to sharing His love with others.
"Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me."
Psalm 119:133
****
In a world gone mad with relativism and political correctness... What can we do to ignite spiritual renewal in our lives and in our churches? Read the passion Michael Youssef has for this subject in our free resource—"We Preach Christ." Download it today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
To follow Leading The Way on Twitter, click here.
Listen to Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way"
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 8:18 pm

Week of Dec. 9
The Living and Active Word
Imagine that you have just received a love letter from your beloved. What would you do with it? Would you open it, read it, reread it, and keep it someplace safe? Or would you leave it on a shelf, unopened and collecting dust?
The Bible is God's love letter to humanity, telling us about Himself and how He loved us so much that He sent His Son to redeem us. Through the Scriptures, God reveals His heart to us; we can learn about His goodness and love through His letters to us. We should treasure God's Word as we would a cherished love letter that captures our heart.
The Bible has the power like a sharp sword to pierce through to our very hearts and speak to us like no friend, teacher, or other book can: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
The Bible is not merely words on pages in a book, but it is God's living Word. These words contain God's authority. These words contain God's power. These words contain God's strength. When we read the Bible—and believe and obey it—Scripture has the ability to stretch us on God's operating table, to cut out the tumors of sin and then to heal and restore us.
When we are stretched out on God's operating table, everything about us is revealed. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13). The Bible points to our blind spots - things we cannot see on our own. We may think we are doing fine spiritually, but then the Bible shows us where we are lacking.
The Word of God is sharp like a surgeon's scalpel, capable of cutting out the sin and disobedience in our lives. Surgery is never easy, but it is necessary for good health. The double-edged sword of God's Word can cut straight to our hearts and souls. It penetrates deep into the inner recesses of our spiritual being. It can judge our motives and attitudes, and all of our hidden thoughts. We may try to deceive others and even ourselves, but we cannot deceive God. He knows everything about us.
Yet after having been cut open, God does not leave us there to bleed. He heals us and restores us. He wants to fulfill us and bless us. God not only uses His Word to rebuke us but also to enrich us and pour His grace upon us.
As the psalmist declares, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb" (Psalm 19:7-10).
But God does not want us to keep our renewed spirits to ourselves. As we allow God's Word to transform us, we become better equipped to do His work. "From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
Pray for the Holy Spirit to remove your blind spots as you read the Word of God. Allow Him to convict you of your shortcomings so that you can repent and be restored. As He renews your spirit, begin to turn your thoughts outward to sharing His love with others.
"Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me." 
Psalm 119:133
****
Enjoy 365 Biblical daily devotional emails from Michael Youssef by registering for My Devotional today.
We are Leading The Way for people living in spiritual darkness, at home and around the world, to discover the light of Christ as we passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth. Visit us today at www.leadingtheway.org
Listen to Michael Youssef on Today's Broadcast of "Leading The Way" at OnePlace.com
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Re: Leading the Way ~Michael Youssef

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